The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 action returns from the international break with Bengaluru FC hosting Odisha FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on March 30, 2024, Saturday, at 5:00 pm IST.

Odisha FC held the top spot of the points table for a large chunk of the second half of the campaign. However, they have slipped seven points out of a possible 12 in their last four games, losing 2-1 to Chennaiyin FC in their previous ISL fixture.

They then went on to lose by 4-0 to the Central Coast Mariners in the AFC Cup inter-zonal semi-finals across two legs, thus crashing their hopes of progressing further in the continental championship.

Presently, the Kalinga Warriors have 35 points from 18 games. They are six points off the top-placed Mumbai City FC (41), who have played an additional game (19) as compared to Odisha FC.

On the other hand, Bengaluru FC has 21 points from 19 games, the same equation as the sixth-placed Punjab FC. Impressive outings in the next three matches can see them make it to the playoffs, which will be a big win under the watch of head coach Gerard Zaragoza who took over the reins in December.

What’s at stake?

Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC boasts of a 100% win rate against Odisha FC at home, having emerged victorious in both their previous games at the Sree Kanteerava against the Juggernauts. They have beaten Odisha FC by 3-1 and 3-0 in their two outings here.

The Blues have notched 19 goals and conceded 28 times in 19 games this ISL season. This is the least goals that they have scored and the highest that they have conceded after these many games in the current campaign.

There is a lot of individual talent in their ranks, especially with the emergence of youngsters like Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) Chingangbam Shivaldo Singh, who has scored and assisted once each in the ISL so far.

Bengaluru FC have aggregated a dribble success rate of 51.5% (138/268 dribbles completed) in the current ISL season, which is the second highest of all teams (FC Goa – 52%); Odisha FC (51.4%).

A late winner by Boris Singh inflicted a 2-1 loss upon the Blues in their previous match against FC Goa, but they will be raring to put up a formidable challenge for the playoffs positions in the coming three games.

Odisha FC

Odisha FC has the chance to complete a league double over Bengaluru FC this season, having won their last game against the Blues by 3-2 in October.

This will be their third potential league double of ISL 2023-24, after having done so against Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC already.

Odisha FC has found the back of the net at least once in each of their last three away fixtures. If they do so again against Bengaluru FC, it will equal their longest such scoring streak in the competition's history.

No team has registered more sequences of 10+ passes per game in the current ISL season than Odisha FC (10.8); the Kalinga Warriors have been involved in 195 such sequences over their 18 games in 2023-24, suggesting that they have completely adopted the playing style of Sergio Lobera over the last few months.

With their coming matches against Bengaluru FC, Punjab FC, and Mumbai City FC, the Lobera-coached side will be eyeing to storm back into contention for the ISL League Winners Shield.

Key Players to Watch Out

Chingangbam Shivaldo Singh (Bengaluru FC)

Shivaldo Singh has made nine appearances in ISL 2023-24. He netted in their previous match against FC Goa, starting the game and finding the back of the net in the second minute of the game. He has won four aerial duels, six tackles, and also 16 duels until now.

With two blocks and 14 recoveries, and 76 successful passes, he has created two goal-scoring opportunities and recorded a couple of goal contributions until now. He has notched 72% passing accuracy so far, and will be hoping for further impactful contributions moving forward in the campaign.

Roy Krishna (Odisha FC)

Roy Krishna has been pivotal to the success of Odisha FC so far, scoring 12 goals and assisting once in 18 ISL appearances. He has completed 15 successful dribbles, made 29 key passes, created 30 goal-scoring opportunities, won 86 duels, and recorded a 44.44% goal conversion rate. He has made 68 touches in the opposition’s box and 77 recoveries so far.

With 24 passes per game, he has recorded a 74% passing accuracy and struck a formidable partnership with Brazilian forward Diego Mauricio. The seasoned ISL forward will be hoping to be at the top of his game to help Odisha FC challenge for the top honours this month.

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Played – 13

Odisha FC – 5

Bengaluru FC – 7

Draws – 1

Trivia: Javi Hernandez has won 43 fouls in ISL 2023-24, second to only Punjab FC’s Madih Talal (59); Roy Krishna (25) is Odisha FC’s best player in this category so far in 2023-24.

Team Talk

“We trained very well in the last two weeks. Odisha FC is a very good team, with strong individuals and a very good coach, but we know that we will play at the Kanteerava and we will have our supporters behind us,” Bengaluru FC head coach Gerard Zaragoza said in the pre-match press conference.

“We have to ensure that the players recover physically as well as mentally. It’s a big challenge to come back into the competition after the break, but we are very excited about the same too,” Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera said ahead of the game.

ISL Fantasy

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (3.8cr)

Has earned 58 ISL fantasy points so far

Javi Hernandez (9.2cr)

Has bagged 57 ISL fantasy points this season

Amey Ranawade (4.2cr)

The fullback has got 82 fantasy points in ISL 2023-24

If not registered already, fans can participate in the overall league or club-based leagues based on their preferences. Create private leagues, inviting friends and fellow football aficionados to compete. Prizes include a Sony PlayStation ®️ ️5 gaming console, EA Sports FC 24, signed club merchandise, and a Gift Card worth INR 20,000, which will be awarded to 100 winners at the end of the season. Sign up at:

Where to Watch

Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), News 18 Kerala (Malayalam – select matches) & DD Bangla (Bengali). Fans can also catch the action streaming Live for free on JioCinema, the home of Indian football. In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.