Odisha host Jamshedpur for their first home game in Bhubaneswar
Having played their first three home matches of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 in Pune, Odisha FC will be looking to make a positive impression in their first outing at their officially designated home venue - the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar - when they host Jamshedpur FC on Friday. The two faced off in their opening game of the season back in October, with Jamshedpur eventually coming out on top at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, courtesy a late goal.
Josep Gombau's men have, so far, secured nine points from as many matches this season - a tally which could have been a lot more if not for their apparent inconsistency in front of the opposition goal. Despite creating ample chances, Odisha have failed to make the most of their opportunities owing to their wastefulness in the final third. Aridane Santana has been Odisha's most potent goal threat so far this season with four strikes to his name, but the Spaniard has failed to find the back of the net in Odisha's last three matches. The likes of Xisco Hernandez and Jerry Mawihmingthanga, too, have been brilliant in patches but inconsistent. If Odisha are to stake a claim for the top four, Gombau needs to address the lack of ruthlessness in the opposition third pronto, ideally starting with Friday's encounter.
To add to the woes, the defence hasn't inspired much confidence either and have let in 14 goals so far - the third-worst defensive record in the league. Now finally at home, Odisha will be eager to string together a few positive results on a trot in order to keep themselves relevant in the top four race.
After a fantastic start to the season, things have started to go south for Antonio Iriondo’s side, who are without a win in their last four matches (three draws and a loss). Defensive frailties have been the biggest detriment, with Iriondo’s men failing to keep a clean sheet in any of their last four matches. This is in stark contrast to the beginning of the season where they kept two clean sheets and conceded just five goals in as many matches.
Their defensive showing in second half of matches is especially concerning, given they’ve conceded 64% of the goals in the second half this season. The club will be hoping to change that narrative sooner rather than later, which could mean a change in shape from Iriondo. The Spaniard has quite a few defenders at his disposal and may just be mulling over a tactical reshuffle to make things tighter at the back. In attack, there are still doubts regarding the involvement of striker Sergio Castel, who has missed the last few matches due to an injury. Castel, who scored five in his first six matches for Jamshedpur, was the driving force behind the team’s stellar start and his injury directly coincides with Jamshedpur’s dip in form. Spanish midfielders Noe Acosta and Piti are also rumoured to be doubtfuls for the match.
Odisha FC: Arshdeep Singh (GK), Narayan Das, Carlos Delgado, Shubham Sarangi, Xisco Hernandez, Marcos Tebar, Martin Guedes, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Nandhakumar Sekar, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Aridane Santana
Jamshedpur FC: Subrata Paul (GK), Tiri, Narender Gahlot, Robin Gurung, Jitendra Singh, Aitor Monroy, Memo Moura, Isaac Vanmalsawma, CK Vineeth, Sumeet Passi, Farukh Choudhary
Did you know?
- Seven out of the 11 goals conceded by Jamshedpur this season have come in the second half, which amount to almost 64% of the total goals conceded.
- Odisha have conceded 10 out of 14 goals in the second half this season (joint highest with Hyderabad FC).
- Out of the three times Jamshedpur were leading at half-time this season, they have managed to win only one match.
Which young Indian defender will impress the most in the match?
- Shubham Sarangi
- Narender Gahlot
Live Broadcast Schedule:
Hero ISL 2019-20 Match 47: Odisha FC vs Jamshedpur FC
Date: December 27 (Friday)
Time: 7:30 PM onwards
Channels: Star Sports Network
Streaming: Hotstar and Jio TV