Odisha vs ATK Mohun Bagan: Preview and Prediction
Odisha is not among the most convincing teams of the season, but they can still be content with their performance after what was a horrific 2021-22 ISL season. With six wins from nine matches and 18 points to their name, the Kalinga Warriors are placed fifth in the standings.
ATK Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, has been comparatively better, but still not as flawless as they need to be to win the ISL League Winners’ Shield. With six wins and 19 points in their account, the Mariners are placed third.
Odisha started their campaign on a fantastic note – coming from behind to beat Jamshedpur 3-2. After going down 0-2 against Mumbai City, Josep Gambau’s team launched a superb comeback with two consecutive wins – against Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru.
The winning run was halted when they faced defending champions Hyderabad in their fifth match, but yet again, the Kalinga Warriors came back stronger with three consecutive wins, beating East Bengal, Chennaiyin and NorthEast United during this run. That being said, Odisha will come into this game on the back of a 0-3 humbling defeat against Goa.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s start was completely the opposite, as they suffered a 1-2 loss against Chennaiyin. However, Juan Ferrando’s men regained composure and embarked on a four-game unbeaten streak – where they won three matches against Kerala Blasters, East Bengal and NorthEast United, and drew against Mumbai City.
That run came to an end when Goa handed them a 0-3 thrashing, but the Mariners will be high on confidence coming into this match as they have won their last two fixtures – beating both Hyderabad and Bengaluru by 1-0 margins.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head records are totally inclined in ATK Mohun Bagan’s favour. The Mariners have won two of the previous four meetings against Odisha, with the other two fixtures ending in stalemates.
One of those draws was played out in the previous league clash, which was back in February. Redeem Tlang scored the opening goal for the Kalinga Warriors, but a Joni Kauko penalty helped Ferrando’s boys get back in the game.
After a disappointing outing against Goa, it seems certain that Gambau will be looking to make changes to his starting XI. One of those changes will be a forced one, as Nandhakumar Sekar will be unavailable for selection after receiving marching orders in the last game.
Given that Odisha does not have plenty of Indian options in the attacking department, the Spanish tactician could recall Diego Mauricio in the team. However, he might then bench Carlos Delgado for Denechandra Meitei and play Narender Gahlot as a centre-back, so as to maintain the overseas count to four. Besides that, Saul Crespo could be replaced by Victor Rodriguez in the midfield.
Though his team was victorious against Jamshedpur, it is expected that Ferrando too will make at least one change to his starting XI. The reason for the tweak is that Australian centre-back, Brendan Hamill will be available again after serving his one-game suspension.
He is likely to be restored in his position as Pritam Kotal’s partner at the heart of defense. To accommodate that, Irishman Carl McHugh is expected to revert to his usual role in midfield, with Lenny Rodrigues dropping to the bench.
Odisha (4-3-3): Amrinder Singh; Denechandra Meitei, Narender Gahlot, Osama Malik, Lalruatthara; Raynier Fernandes, Victor Rodriguez, Thoiba Singh; Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Pedro Martin, Diego Mauricio.
ATK Mohun Bagan (4-3-3): Vishal Kaith; Asish Rai, Pritam Kotal, Brendan Hamill, Subhasish Bose; Deepak Tangri, Hugo Boumous, Carl McHugh; Dimitri Petratos, Liston Colaco, Ashique Kuruniyan.
ATK Mohun Bagan has the edge on head-to-head statistics, while they also have looked more convincing in terms of performances this season. Hence, we have predicted the Mariners to win this fixture.