Odisha vs Bengaluru: Preview and Prediction￼
Odisha scored 12 goals from four matches in Group D, with Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Saul Crespo finding the back of the net a total of three times. Moreover, they are the only team in the competition so far to have not conceded a goal yet, with Lalthuammawia Ralte and Antonio Dylan bagging two clean sheets each.
Bengaluru, on the other hand, has chopped and changed its side numerous times in the competition. Simon Grayson has given opportunities to all his players and experimented with various tactics to link up the players.
Odisha started their Durand Cup 2022 campaign with a bang by pumping six goals past NorthEast United, with six different goalscorers turning up. They got the better of Kerala Blasters as Isaac Vanmalsawma and Saul Crespo scored a goal each after a goalless first half.
Saul struck a brace against Sudeva Delhi with Jerry Mawihmingthanga scoring the other goal in Odisha’s 3-0 victory. New signing Pedro Martin found himself among the scorer’s list as the Josep Gombau-coached side beat Army Green 1-0.
Bengaluru started the group stage of Durand Cup 2022 with a 2-1 victory over Jamshedpur as Roy Krishna and Sunil Chhetri found their names on the scoresheet. Krishna alongside Faisal Ali and Sivasakthi Narayanan found the net as Bengaluru beat Indian Air Force 4-0.
Conceding their two-goal advantage, Bengaluru shared the spoils with Goa in a 2-2 draw as Chhetri and Sivasakthi put the Blues in the driver’s seat within thirty minutes of kickoff. The former ISL champions scored a last-minute equalizer through Sivasakthi to earn a point against Mohammedan in a 1-1 draw.
Head to Head Record
The two teams have squared off against each other a total of 10 times, with Bengaluru gaining the upper hand six times. Odisha won only three matches between them while one encounter between them ended in a draw.
Apart from Prince Ibara’s injury, Bengaluru has no other injury concerns. Sivasakthi may get a place in the starting line-up ahead of Faisal Ali on the back of his prolific performance in front of goal. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu could also start between the sticks as opposed to Lara Sharma to help the Blues qualify for the semis.
Odisha can stick to their 4-3-3 formation and hope for another victory but Josep Gombau may bring in Lalthuammawia Ralte to replace Dylan D’Silva in between the sticks.
Predicted Starting XIs
Bengaluru (4-3-3): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Hira Mondal, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Sandesh Jhingan, Prabir Das; Jayesh Rane, Suresh Wangjam, Javi Hernandez; Sunil Chhetri, Roy Krishna, Sivasakthi Narayanan
Odisha (4-3-3): Lalthuammawia Ralte; Narender Gehlot, Osama Malik, Shubham Sarangi, Sahil Panwar; Raynier Fernandes, Saul Crespo, Thoiba Moirangthem; Diego Mauricio, Nandhakumar Sekar, Jerry Mawihmingthanga
Bengaluru has looked shaky in the last couple of matches and Odisha will not get a better opportunity than this to sneak in a win. The Josep Gombau-coached side’s defense has not conceded a single goal so far in the tournament and that will only complicate matters for Simon Grayson and his side. We predict Odisha to win the match 2-0.