Winless Odisha FC host FC Goa in their first away game: Full Preview
The struggling Odisha FC face FC Goa on Saturday and Stuart Baxter would be hoping for a turnaround in the fortunes of the club’s season as they are languishing in the tenth position in the league table having collected only a single point from their first four matches.
On the other hand, after playing all of their first four matches at their designated home ground, the Fatorda Stadium, the Gaurs move the action to GMC Stadium Bambolim for their first away match of the season.
Juan Ferrando would be hoping to bank on the momentum collected in the 3-1 win over the struggling Kerala Blasters on Sunday and would be relishing to face Odisha FC who are winless in the league season and are missing some of their key players to injury.
How have they done so far?
Odisha FC started their league season with a 1-0 defeat to dark horses Hyderabad FC and followed it up with a 2-2 draw against Jamshedpur FC as Diego Mauricio’s brace helped the club stage a heroic comeback to salvage a single point. The morales went down again though as Odisha suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to ATK Mohun Bagan FC as they conceded in injury time and then followed it up with a 2-0 defeat to Mumbai City FC.
FC Goa started the 2020-21 season with a 2-2 draw against 2018-19 ISL champions Bengaluru FC and followed it up with a sore 1-0 defeat to Sergio Lobera’s Mumbai City FC side. A 1-1 draw against NorthEast United FC was preceded by the first victory of the season as the Gaurs triumphed 3-1 against Kerala Blasters FC courtesy of a brace from Igor Angulo and Jorge Ortiz’s first goal in ISL.
Odisha FC: The second-choice goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh is ruled out with a concussion he suffered during the match against Mumbai City FC. First-choice goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh is back from injury and is expected to start in goal against the Gaurs.
The 23-year old midfield lynchpin Vinit Rai hasn’t featured the whole season and might make an appearance from the bench on Saturday. Marcelinho has been carrying a shoulder injury all season and won’t be able to play 90 minutes once again.
FC Goa: Redeem Tlang’s two-match suspension is over and the pacey winger should be available for selection on Saturday.
Predicted starting XI
FC Goa (4-3-1-2): Mohammad Nawaz, Seriton Fernandes, Ivan Gonzalez, James Donachie, Saviour Gama, Edu Bedia, Lenny Rodrigues, Seiminlen Doungel, Brandon Fernandes, Jorge Ortiz, Igor Angulo
Odisha FC (4-4-2): Ravi Kumar, Shubham Sarangi, Jacob Tratt, Steven Taylor, George D’Souza, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Cole Alexander, Gaurav Bora, Nandha Kumar Sekar, Manuel Onwu, Marcelinho
Head to Head record
The two sides have faced each other 14 times, twice in all six league seasons and twice during the 2015 ISL playoffs. The Gaurs have a much better head-to-head record as they have nine wins, most of those under Lobera while Odisha FC or Delhi Dynamos FC (as they were known previously) have only 3 wins with two matches ending as a draw.