Odisha vs Bengaluru: Preview and Prediction
The Kalinga Warriors are currently going through a tough time as they’re representing India in the AFC Cup and trying to keep up with the race of semi-finals in ISL. On the flip side, Bengaluru are currently failing to chase their old form in the Indian top-tier football.
Odisha midfielder Princeton Rebello is excited ahead of the Odisha match and cited the former champions as a strong side.
“Bengaluru FC is a strong side, and we expect them to bring the pressure. We are ready to take on all challenges, no matter the opponent. In the end, a game is a game, and we’re eager to express our abilities.”
Currently seventh in the Indian Super League table, Odisha recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Chennaiyin in their inaugural match. Their campaign started with a win, however, they failed to record another league victory in the season since then.
In the second match, the Juggernauts played a 2-2 draw against Mumbai City. The Kalinga Warriors suffered a 3-2 loss of the season against Goa at the Fatorda Stadium. Moreover, their last Indian Super League match, which took place against Kerala Blasters, ended as a loss for the Kalinga Warriors.
On the other side, the Blues started their 2023-24 Indian Super League campaign with a loss against the Tuskers. In the next match, they were defeated by Mohun Bagan SG with a narrow score of 1-0, and two Bengaluru players, Suresh Singh Wangjam and Naorem Roshan Singh, were sent off.
Playing against East Bengal without two important players, Bengaluru overcame all the odds and defeated the Red and Yellow Brigade to secure three points at Sri Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium. Under Sunil Chettri’s captaincy in the fourth match, the Blues played a goalless draw against Manolo Márquez’s Goa.
Head to Head Record
Odisha and Bengaluru have locked horns against each other for a total of 13 times, and most of their meetings have taken place in top-tier Indian football. The Blues have managed to win seven times while the Kalinga Warriors have managed to walk out victorious on seven occasions. The remaining one match between the sides has ended as a draw.
They last squared off in April, earlier this year, when Odisha took down the likes of Bengaluru 2-1. Both sides also played against each other in January, earlier this year, and during that time, the Blues got the better of the Kalinga Warriors 3-1.
A few days ago, Bengaluru boss Simon Grayson expressed his satisfaction after the Blues kept their first clean sheet of the season against Goa. However, the Sri Kanteerava outfit has also expressed their hunger for more wins and a better finish in the Indian Super League.
Suresh Singh Wangjam and Naorem Roshan Singh were sent off against Mohun Bagan SG, and they were suspended during Bengaluru’s game against East Bengal. However, they made their comeback in the team against Goa. Hence, Simon Grayson’s team will be looking forward to cruising over Odisha with full strength.
The Kalinga Warriors gained momentum after they took down the likes of Maziya S&RC 6-1 in the AFC Cup. However, with the return of Ivan Vukomanović at the goal line, the Tuskers broke Odisha’s momentum with a 2-1 win.
Nevertheless, Sergio Lobera’s Odisha is familiar with the competition and they know how to bounce back. The Juggernauts will lock horns against Bengaluru with their best squad.
Odisha (4-3-1-2): Amrinder Singh, Narender Gahlot, Mourtada Fall, Carlos Delgado, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Princeton Rebello, Puitea, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Roy Krishna, Deigo Mauricio
Bengaluru (4-3-3): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Namgyal Bhutia, Slavko Damjanovic, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Parag Shrivas, Roshan Singh, Rohit Kumar, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Javi Hernandez, Curtis Main, Sunil Chhetri
Bengaluru as well as Odisha, both sides are currently in the lower half of the Indian Super League points table. They have recorded only a single win and they are desperate for another victory before it gets too late.
After two consecutive losses in the start, the Blues are slowly gaining momentum by winning and keeping clean sheets. On the flip side, the Juggernauts are facing problems transitioning in different competitions. Hence, the match is likely to end as a draw or in the favour of Bengaluru.