Odisha vs Mumbai City: Preview and Prediction
Coming into this game, both teams will be high on confidence as they won their respective first matches. Odisha started their new season under the guidance of renowned coach Sergio Lobera with a 2-0 win against Chennaiyin.
“We have started the season well and are excited about the second home game for the supporters. It is a special game for me because I was working in Mumbai City and it was one of the most special times in my career.”
“We need to put our focus into the next game against a strong team. I want to win with Odisha and we are preparing for this big challenge.”
On the other hand, the defending league champions, Mumbai City also had the ideal start to their new season. Facing NorthEast United, who are looking much better than last season, the Islanders won 2-1 courtesy of a Jorge Pereyra Diaz brace.
Mumbai City head coach Des Buckingham said,
“It’s a game we are looking forward to against a tough Odisha team. It has been a lot of travel, a three-hour trip at home in the AFC Cup game to Pune, to the NorthEast, and now here to Odisha. But we have managed to be here for the past two days and train, so it’s now about making sure that we field the fittest and the best team out there.
Lobera used to be here, Amrinder, Amey used to play at right-back, Fall, Jahouh, Cy Goodard, and Diego are some of the names I have worked with. I know how it’s for people seeing coaches being put up against former players but for me, it doesn’t matter. We come up against good coaches and players every week in the ISL. It doesn’t change what we do regardless and we will play the football we want.”
What have they done so far?
As it turns out, the new season for both of these teams started before the ISL season even began, as they are competing for continental glory. Odisha is playing in the second-tier club competition in Asia, the AFC Cup.
Lobera’s side had a horrific start in that tournament as they lost 0-4 against Mohun Bagan Super Giant, but they bounced back with a 2-0 win against Chennaiyin. Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Diego Mauricio scored the goals.
The story is the same for Mumbai City, although they are competing in the first-tier club competition in Asia, the AFC Champions League. They produced a good performance against Iran’s Nassaji Mazandaran but ended up losing the game 0-2.
But Des Buckingham’s men did really well to brush that defeat aside as soon as they could, to start their ISL campaign with a 2-1 win against NorthEast United. Argentine striker Jorge Prereyra Diaz scored a brace for the Islanders in that game.
Head to Head Record
When it comes to the head-to-head record, Mumbai City enjoys the upper hand over Odisha. These two teams have met eight times in the past, with Mumbai City winning five of those games, while Odisha won the other three. Interestingly, they are yet to play out a draw.
The last meeting between the two sides, which took place in January this year, saw Mumbai City beating Odisha by a 4-2 margin. Lallianzuala Chhangte netted a brace for Buckingham’s side, with Bipin Singh and Alberto Noguera scoring the other two goals. For Odisha, Mauricio scored both goals.
Since they started their tournament with a win, Lobera could choose to field the same starting XI as the Chennaiyin game, although there is room for improvement in the team, especially in one particular region.
Although Fiji international Roy Krishna started the game for the Kalinga Warriors in that match, Brazilian striker Mauricio was introduced in the second half and he wasted absolutely no time to prove his worth, by scoring his team’s second goal. With no injury concerns for Lobera to handle, Mauricio to replace Krishna is likely to be the only change in the Odisha starting XI.
For the Islanders, Phurba Lachenpa is expected to return in goal after Mohammad Nawaz failed to live up to the expectations. The defense is expected to be unaltered with Tiri waiting on the bench but Buckingham is not expected to make changes to his overseas players’ combination.
Bipin Singh’s place is in question on the left wing as the likes of Vikram Pratap Singh and Ayush Chhikara wait for opportunities to knock on their doors.
Odisha (4-2-3-1): Amrinder Singh; Amey Ranawade, Mourtada Fall, Carlos Delgado, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Ahmed Jahouh, Lenny Rodrigues; Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Puitea, Isak Vanlalruatfela; Diego Mauricio.
Mumbai City (4-2-3-1): Phurba Lachenpa; Rahul Bheke, Rostyn Griffiths, Mehtab Singh, Akash Mishra; Yoell van Nieff, Apuia Ralte; Lallianzuala Chhangte, Greg Stewart, Bipin Singh; Jorge Pereyra Diaz.
Although Odisha looks like a decent side under the stewardship of ISL-winning manager Sergio Lobera, they will still have a difficult time against Mumbai City, who won the league last year and look like one of the most well-drilled units in the competition.