Odisha FC host Hyderabad FC at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, in an Indian Super League match between two teams which have done precious little to impress their fans.
Hosts Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC have been able to win only one off their respective seven outings this season. The team that has shifted its base from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and subsequently changed its name from Delhi Dynamos to Odisha FC have not been able to change their fortunes on the field. Half of their six points have come by virtue of three drawn games while they have lost the other three.
Debutants Hyderabad, who have replaced Pune City FC in the league, have lost five of their seven matches in their first year in the Indian Super League.
The teams in a battle of equals will be eyeing to change their fortunes as a win today (Wednesday) can push them several notches in the league points table.
Hyderabad FC have struggled in both attack and defence, managing to score a mere five goals in five matches while they have conceded 14. Odisha FC have scored eight and conceded nine so far.
Odisha FC coach Josep Gombau is well aware if the team has to create any situation of still making to the knock out stage despite this mess, the revival will have to start with this match. “It is a massive game for us. It’s all or nothing. We are with a chance to get to nine points and we are close to fighting for the play-offs as well. It is important to take this mentality and not add pressure on yourselves,” Gombau said on the eve of the match.
“We respect Odisha, their coach and players, but we are just round the corner from a good run. As a coach, it’s my responsibility to make sure that players don’t get frustrated with results because of the way we play but I don’t think they are (frustrated), says Hyderabad FC coach Phil Brown.
“Odisha enjoy keeping possession in their games but possession doesn’t necessarily win you games, taking the opportunities certainly does and that’s what we will be trying to do tomorrow (Wednesday) night.” said Brown.
Hyderabad FC: Kamaljit Singh (GK), Matthew Kilgallon, Rafael Lopez Gomez, Gurtej Singh, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojary, Marko Stankovic, Rohit Kumar, Marcelo Pereira, Bobo, Robin Singh.
Odisha FC: Arshdeep Singh, Shubham Sarangi, Diawandou Diagne, Rana Gharami, Narayan Das, Vinit Rai, Marcos Tebar, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Xisco Hernandez, Aridane Santana.