While Odisha will kick off their season, Marco Pezzaiuoli’s men brushed aside Northeast United 4-2 in their first game. Both sides are in a similar predicament this term – meaning either club has begun operations following a summer revamps.
Bengaluru FC will be looking to building on their commanding win in the initial game. At the other end, Odisha FC are eager to start their season with a victory. In the previous 2 seasons, they registered losses against The Blues. Considering the respective playstyles and talents (both foreign and domestic), the tie should be an exciting watch.
Following their rechristening to Odisha FC from Delhi Dynamos, the side has fallen on torrid times. Last season, they finished with a mere 2 victories from a possible 20. This downfall urged Odisha FC to re-think their outlook, leading to a major rebuild. Now, the side have reset and are beginning afresh. They have even reinstated the setup that witnessed them put forward decent showings on field.
With Josep Gombau at the helm in Odisha’s first season, they registered a 6th place finish, only 4 points off the final playoffs berth. With that as a benchmark, Odisha FC have picked Spaniard Kiko Ramirez as gaffer for this campaign.
On the other side, Bengaluru FC have abandoned Spanish tacticians and appointed ex-Eintracht Frankfurt technical director Marco Pezzaiuoli as their boss. A convincing win on his managerial debut has seen the German start off well. Despite failing to clear the group stage, his side put out a good showing in the AFC Cup.
Last campaign, the Blues recorded a 7th place finish and missed out on the playoffs. This was their first seaon outside the playoffs in their 4-year ISL history. The club seemed far from their past themselves resulting in coach Carles Cuadrat being shown the door. They relieved 6 foreign players from last term. Needless to mention, Bengaluru FC will look to register another good win in their second game.
Odisha are yet to play their first game of the season and presently sit at 8th on the table. The Kalinga Warriors made major improvements to their team and added players like Hector Rodas, Victor Mongol, Javi Hernandez, Liridon Krasniqi, Aridai Cabrera and Jonathas De Jesus.
Seven youngsters – Lalhrezuala Sailung, Thoiba Singh Moirangthem, Deven Sawhney, C. V. L. Remtluanga, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Akshunna Tyagi and Nikhil Raj – classifying as developmental players are included as well.
With Kiko Ramirez leading the side, some notable development is expected from the Odisha FC team. They finished last season at the bottom of the table, now hoping to for a stronger showing this term.
Bengaluru FC have begun their season on a high. On Matchday 2, they faced and beat Northeast United 4-2. The Blues displayed positive approach to the game, both new acquisitions Jayesh Rane and Prince Ibara netting, and also an opener from Cleiton Silva. Their second game should be a cracker with the new tactics and signings clicking well.
Odisha FC (4-2-3-1): Arshdeep Singh (GK); Hendry Antonay, Hector Rodas, Victor Mongil, Sahil Panwar; Vinit Rai, Thoiba Singh; Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Javi Martinez, Nandhakumar Sekar; Jonathas de Jesus.
Bengaluru FC (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK); Ajith Kumar, Alan Costa, Yrondu Musavu-King, Ashique Kuruniyan; Bruno Ramires, Suresh Wangjam; Udanta Singh, Jayesh Rane, Sunil Chhetri; Cleiton Silva.
Odisha FC 1-3 Bengaluru FC
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