Match Preview: Odisha FC take on Kerala Blasters in search of elusive first win
Winless eight matches into Indian Super League ( ISL) 2020-21, Odisha FC will hope to turn their fortunes around when they face Kerala Blasters FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Thursday.
Stuart Baxter’s side lost 3-1 to SC East Bengal in their last fixture, while Kerala Blasters FC were beaten 2-0 by Mumbai City FC in their previous encounter.
Odisha have not been at their best so far particularly up front. The Bhubaneswar-based team have scored just two goals from open play this season out of their total of six. And their best player has been Brazilian forward Diego Mauricio who has scored three goals. Mauricio’s strike partner Manuel Onwu, however, is yet to find the back of the net this season.
At the other end of the pitch a grimmer picture awaits us: Odisha is yet to keep a clean sheet, having conceded 14 goals in all. The experience of Steven Taylor and Jacob Tratt has not helped much so far, and Shubham Sarangi is another name to have disappointed.
Speaking to the media ahead of their game, head coach Baxter said, “Every opponent that we have is potentially an opponent we can get a good result against. A lot of their games have been close. It’s going to be a tight and competitive game. I want us to go into this game knowing that we can win this time.”
Odisha have won just once in their last 13 matches going back to last season. Up against another side not at the top of their game, Odisha will hope to win and end their status as the only team yet to win this season.
Sharing his thoughts ahead of the game, head coach Vicuna said, “Every game is a new challenge. Odisha are no different from others. While we are looking for the three points against Odisha, it needs to be said that they have been performing well. They played well against East Bengal too. We need to control the game and make the most of our chances. But we need to be defensively better as well. Football is a balance between attack, defence and transition. We have to improve in every aspect.”