Odisha FC are looking to end their four-game winless run in the ISL against visitors East Bengal who are motivated by their stunning win last week.
The Juggernauts lost a 4-2 thriller against Mumbai City FC at home while the Red and Golds secured a last-ditch 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC.
OFC vs EBFC Match Details
Date: Saturday, 7 January 2023
Time: 19:30 (IST)
Venue: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar
OFC vs EBFC Match Preview
Odisha FC had a horrendous end to 2022 with the new year not unfolding on good terms as well. Diego Mauricio’s return to the scoresheet was not marked by a win as Mumbai City FC triumphed over the home side 4-2 on Monday leaving Odisha FC with just a point from last four games. It was also their first defeat at home this season. The 2-1 success against NorthEast United in early December was the last time Josep Gombau’s men picked up three points in the league. Three defeats and a draw followed it while the goals scored against the Highlanders were the first in four games since. Odisha FC still carries a five points lead over Bengaluru FC for the last play-off spots but their position will be jeopardized if their winless run continues for some more games. They face the Blues next Saturday but before that East Bengal arrives in the city to follow up their excellent win against the former at the Saltlake Stadium. The Juggernauts manage to come back from two goals down to win 4-2 in the reverse fixture back in November. Their home form could also help with four wins secured out of six matches at the Kalinga Stadium.
A picturesque free-kick from Cleiton Silva was not only the perfect way for him to secure the three points in stoppage time for East Bengal but also show a great tribute to the legendary Pele who passed away last week. Earlier, the former Bengaluru FC scored against his old side again to take the lead from the penalty spot which was cut off by Javi Hernandez’s equalizer ten minutes into the second half. Scoring the dramatic winner just like in the reverse fixture, Silva grabbed his seventh of the season and 23rd goal of his ISL career. Most importantly, he gave the Red and Golds their first win at home this season. It was a brilliant way for Stephen Constantine’s men to end 2022 too after suffering three consecutive losses prior to this win. East Bengal will be wishing for more consistency this year with changes needed in attack but most significantly in defense, conceded 20 in just 11 games. The winter transfer window is the solution for that and while deals are taking place, the trip to Odisha needs to be taken care of. The Torch Bearers will not want a reversal of their previous result in this fixture and rely on the record of two away wins in the last three to take three points again.
OFC vs EBFC Predicted Lineups
OFC: Amrinder Singh; Narender Gahlot, Omar Malik, Carlos Delgado, Sahil Panwar; Victor Rodriguez, Raynier Fernandes, Issac Vanmalsawma; Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Diego Mauricio, Nandha Kumar
EB: Kamaljit Singh; Ankit Mukherjee, Ivan Gonzalez, Lalchungnunga, Jerry Lalarinzuala; Suhair VP, Mobashir Rahman, Jordan O’Doherty, Naorem Mahesh; Alex, Cleiton Silva
OFC vs EBFC Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Kamaljit (8)
DEF: Jerry Lalrinzuala (7.5), I Gonzalez (7.5), Malik (8), Delgado (8.5)
MID: Mahesh (9), Crespo (8.5), N Sekar (9)
FW: Jerry Mawihmingthanga (9), Mauricio (9), C Silva (9)
Vice-captain: Diego Mauricio
Captain: Cleiton Silva
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