Preview: FC Goa, Odisha FC look to cement playoffs spots

Preview: FC Goa, Odisha FC look to cement playoffs spots

The two are set to produce an exciting contest on Saturday.

FC Goa will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Indian Super League (ISL) when they host Odisha FC on Friday. The Gaurs have had a really topsy-turvy season so far and aim to bring some stability by defeating an in-form Odisha side. For the visitors, it’s all about building on their three-game winning run and closing the gap at the top of the table.

With that being said, let’s look at what this thrilling encounter has to offer.

The Stakes

FC Goa

Carlos Pena’s side has seen their season turn upside down a little bit in the last few weeks. After having a strong start to the season, they have lost their last two games in a rather embarrassing fashion. Their form so far has been quite freaky, having won 4 and lost 4 of their 8 games so far.

This kind of inconsistency probably can’t continue if the Gaurs aspire for the league championship or the playoff place. They need to start winning games again and quickly. There is quite a lot riding on the game against Odisha, as a potential third-successive loss will incur crisis shouts.

They’ll need to rediscover their attacking might and be really strong defensively to get a strong result against Odisha. Doing that can give the players a massive surge in momentum and help them regain confidence.

Odisha FC

Odisha FC has been on a roll in the ISL so far this season, winning 6 out of their opening 8 games of the campaign. They’re playing great attacking football and are really entertaining to watch as well.

But for them to aspire to be league champions, they’ll need to keep winning. It’s these games which also separate champions from runners-up. They can’t afford to drop points to a struggling Goa side that has lost both their last two games if they aspire to be the best.

A lot is riding on Josep Gombau’s men, as they know that another major win can give them a lot of self-belief about their chances of giving Mumbai City a tough fight for that top spot.

Team News

Head to Head

FC Goa has played 18 games against Odisha FC (formerly Delhi Dynamos) in the ISL and won 11 of them. They lost 3 games, with the rest being draws.

Played – 18

FC Goa – 11

Odisha FC – 3

Draw – 4

Predicted Lineups

FC Goa (4-2-3-1)

Dheeraj Singh (GK), Seriton Fernandes, Marc Hernandez, Anwar Ali, Aibanbha Dohling, Ayush Chhetri, Glan Martins, Iker Guarrotxena, Brandon Fernandes, Noah Sadaoui, Alvaro Vazquez

Odisha FC (4-3-3)

Amrinder Singh (GK), Narender Gahlot, Osama Malik, Carlos Delgado, Sahil Panwar, Thoiba Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Saul Crespo, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Nandhakumar Sekar, Diego Mauricio

Player to Watch

Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa)

Noah Sadaoui (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Noah Sadaoui has proven to be a really smart signing for the Gaurs, impressing in almost every game for them. He might not have started every match but has been a breath of fresh air with his menacing movement and trickery. Sadoui has 5 goal involvements (4 goals, 1 assist) in 8 matches for the Gaurs, being their most prolific attacker. His ability to dribble past opponents with ease, trouble them with his physicality and dance into open spaces is impressive. Noah can be a thorn in the side of the Odisha backline with his unpredictable style and could prove to be a decisive factor if given too much empty room.

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Nandhakumar Sekar (Odisha FC)

Nandhakumar Sekar after scoring against NorthEast United. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The hard-working winger is having his most prolific season yet in the ISL and has been on fire for Odisha FC. Nandhakumar has discovered ruthlessness in his game and his final product has been really impressive. He’s scored 4 goals in 8 games for them, including some really memorable strikes.

Nandha’s energetic presence has lit up the left flank for Odisha, while he’s shown an impressive ability to burst past his marker too. Sekar can be a menace for FC Goa, with his movement and smart delivery from the wings making him hard to contain. He’ll look to continue his superb form and get into more key attacking areas to destabilize the opposition’s backline.

Did you know?

Nandhakumar Sekar (4) is the joint-highest Indian player in the ISL this season.

Dheeraj Singh (3) has kept the second-most clean sheet for any goalkeeper in the ISL in this campaign.

Odisha FC are winless in their last 10 encounters against FC Goa.

Telecast

The match between FC Goa and Odisha FC will take place at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa on December 9 (Friday). The kick-off time is 7:30 pm IST. The game will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network. Disney+HotStar and JioTV will also stream the match.

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Source

Sports