ISL: Odisha FC hope to break Kerala Blasters’ unbeaten run | Football News

Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC have passed through contrasting paths to be placed where they are now in Indian Super League (ISL). While the Bhubaneswar-based side started their campaign with a thumping win, some inconsistent performances thereafter have contributed to their eight-spot positioning on the league table.
Odisha, with some huge losses and a couple big wins in between, have shown glimpses of resurgence with a 4-2 comeback win against the defending champions Mumbai City FC in the last game they played. Their last scheduled match against ATK Mohun Bagan was postponed due to Covid-19 positive cases in the opposition ranks.
On the other hand, some stellar show by the club from south, after starting their journey with a big loss, have helped them to the top of the table. The Blasters are on a nine-game unbeaten run since that defeat in the season opener. Midway through the league, this is the best performance by the Blasters in ISL.
So, on Wednesday, when the two sides meet for the reverse fixture of this season at Tilak Maidan in Goa, Kiko Ramirez’s boys will have their task cut out against a team who are brimming with confidence under Serbian head coach Ivan Vukomanovic.
“They have things going their way now and we realise they are experiencing a good run of form. Our boys are working hard to put up a challenge but we need to understand the three foreign attackers (Alvaro Vazquez, Adrian Luna and Jorge Pereyra Diaz) they have, are in a rich vein of form,” said Odisha head coach Ramirez during the virtual pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
Odisha have leaked in 22 goals so far in nine outings, joint highest with NorthEast United in that area, whereas Kerala have conceded only 10 in 10 games, joint least with Hyderabad FC. So, the Kalinga Warriors’ defence will be put to test against Blasters and Hector Rodas and Victor Mongil have to be at their grittiest. In their last meeting, Blasters came out 2-1 winners in this edition.
“It (the previous game) was a neck and neck match. Both teams had chances. Even in the first half, we had our chances to be in front. At that point, they changed a little bit and used their counter-attacks really well. They could damage us because of that. We are aware of this strength they have and we hope that the match doesn’t go in the same direction,” the Spaniard explained the threat Blasters will be posing.
Winger Jerry Mawihmingthanga will be the key man in attack for the Juggernauts after his stellar show against Mumbai City with a brace and an assist.
Blasters coach Vukomanovic feels his side has the depth and talent to take any challenge coming their way. “From the beginning, we have believed that we have the quality to beat anybody. And we’ve seen so far that the favourites cannot win the so-called easy games. We have a good team and we believe that we can build a good momentum,” said the Serbian gaffer ahead of the match.

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