Odisha, Chennaiyin look to close gap on top four with win at Bhubaneswar

Match 53 of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 will see Odisha FC welcome former champions, Chennaiyin FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday. The home side will be looking to make it two wins out of two in Bhubaneswar, although Chennaiyin’s recent resurgence suggests it will hardly be a straightforward task.

The reverse fixture between the two sides in late November was an entertaining affair, with Odisha’s Aridane Santana scoring late to ensure the points were shared in a 2-2 draw.

Odisha FC

After playing three of their home matches in Pune earlier in the season, Josep Gombau’s men returned to their designated home – the Kalinga Stadium, in their last match against Jamshedpur FC. They got off to a winning start as Santana produced a masterful display and helped his side gain three valuable points. Courtesy of the win, Gombau and Co. closed down the gap to the top four and will be looking to reduce it further in the match against Chennaiyin. A win in the fixture will bring Odisha just one point off fourth placed Mumbai City FC, who currently have 16 points in 11 outings.

To do so, however, Odisha must improve at set-pieces at both ends of the pitch. Out of the 13 goals scored by them so far, only two have come via that route – the joint-lowest tally in the division. Defensively, the problem is even worse with close to 50% of the goals conceded by Odisha coming from deal ball situations.

Additionally, Gombau’s side has been especially vulnerable in the second half of matches, conceding 10 of their goals after the interval. Chennaiyin’s brilliant form in the offensive front off late will pose a further complication for Gombau, who will be working towards finding a solution and helping his players gain that bit of advantage from a tactical perspective.

Chennaiyin FC

Owen Coyle’s appointment has certainly helped change the mood inside the Marina Machans camp. The players look much more energetic, motivated and determined to prove their worth. Coyle’s philosophy based around an attacking mindset has reaped good rewards, with the former champions scoring seven goals in their last three matches – three more than what they managed to grab in the previous six fixtures. Their conversion rate is up to 24.1% compared to 4.1% under previous management.

Playmaker Rafael Crivellaro has especially benefitted from Coyle’s arrival and seems like a new player altogether. After failing to score or assist a single goal in the first six matches, he has contributed directly to four goals in the last three matches. The 30-year-old has also created 21 chances in the league so far – the second highest in the division. Coyle will be expecting more of the same from the Crivellaro against Odisha and help his side gain their first away win of the season.

Chennaiyin did lose their last match to Goa 4-3 but showed commendable spirit to make a match out of the contest despite going down 3-0 in the first half itself. Currently on nine points from as many games, a win is essential for Chennaiyin to keep pace with the leading pack and mount a challenge for a place in the semis down the line.

Probable line-ups:

Odisha FC: Francisco Dorronsoro (GK), Gaurav Bora, Shubham Sarangi, Narayan Das, Carlos Delgado, Nandhakumar Sekar, Vinit Rai, Xisco Hernandez, Marcos Tebar, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Aridane Santana

Chennaiyin FC: Vishal Kaith (GK), Lucian Goian, Eli Sabia, Tondonba Singh, Rafael Crivellaro, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Nerijus Valskis, Andre Schembri

Did you know?

  • Chennaiyin are yet to win a match away from home this season.
  • Odisha have scored joint-lowest goals from set pieces along-with Chennaiyin this season (2).
  • Odisha have scored lowest number of goals in the second half (5) this season.

Fan Speak:

Which with get the three points and get closer to the top four?

  • Odisha FC
  • Chennaiyin FC

Live Broadcast Schedule:

Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 53: Odisha FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Date: January 6 (Monday)

Time: 7:30 PM onwards

Channels: Star Sports Network

Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV

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