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ISL 2023-24: Mohun Bagan Super Giant take on Odisha FC seeking redemption for 5-2 defeat

IANS | December 06, 2023 11:16 AM

KOLKATA: Their embarrassing 5-2 defeat to Odisha FC in the AFC Cup fresh in their minds, Mohun Bagan Super Giant will step onto the field with revenge on their mind when they take on the Juggernauts in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Wednesday.

The Mariners have created history by recording the best-ever start (after five matches) to an ISL season with five successive victories in this campaign. However, Juan Ferrando's side will be remembering the forgettable 5-2 loss they suffered against the Juggernauts at this venue in their AFC Cup encounter last week.

That result was a massive aberration to what otherwise has been an impeccable season for Mohun Bagan Super Giant so far.

Ferrando will be hoping for a quick and befitting response to that defeat to Odisha FC as that is expected to redeem their confidence and fuel their ambitions again.

With proven ISL winners, promising young talents and the tactical nous of coach Sergio Lobera, Odisha FC are emerging as the side to keep tabs on for this year. They have tremendous offensive quality to trouble the opponents on their day. The Juggernauts layer it with smart manoeuvring on both ends of the pitch to sneak in timely wins.

Wednesday's match has a lot at stake for both teams.

The Mariners have assembled a star-studded squad with high ambitions on both the domestic and continental fronts. Though Continental glory will be a challenging affair, Bagan would not want to slip up on the domestic front. Ferrando insisted that he wanted a formidable fightback from his boys against Hyderabad FC over the weekend after a dismal defeat to Odisha FC.

However, what would really get this squad going and reinvigorate their spirits is a sense of urgency and ruthlessness when they take on the Juggernauts. Victory on Wednesday will also help them keep pace with leaders FC Goa (19) and second-placed Kerala Blasters (17). Placed third with 15 points, Mohun Bagan Super Giant have the advantage of having a couple of games in hand.

Odisha FC, on the other hand, are on a winning streak with five straight wins including three in the ISL and two in the AFC Cup. Lobera has his men who have tasted ISL success before, like Ahmed Jahouh, Krishna, Amrinder Singh, Mourtada Fall, etc, and blending them with some incredible emerging prospects has resulted in the team finding the perfect balance to overcome obstacles coming their way.

The AFC Cup win against the Mariners handed them the impetus that can propel the campaign to greater heights, and Lobera will be eager to double upon that to clarify that Odisha FC are one of the contenders for the top prizes this season. A win from here will take them just a point behind the second-placed Kerala Blasters (17), that too with a game in hand as compared to the Tuskers.

Overall, Mohun Bagan Super Giant has the edge in head-to-head matches as they have won five of their clashes with Odisha FC, losing only one, with three games ending in a draw.

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