Resurgent Odisha FC cuts off action against confident Kerala Blasters

When the two sides face off in the Hero Indian Super League at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Wednesday, a revival will cut their work against the Kerala Blasters in Odisha FC form. Odisha beat Mumbai City FC in their last outing and returned to winning ways after an unexpected performance. Kiko Ramirez-coached side looked sharp in the attack and was firm even when they needed a backside in a high scoring encounter. They are now eighth in the points table with 13 points from nine matches.

In Kerala, Odisha will have a rival who is full of confidence after topping the table for the first time in seven years. They beat Hyderabad FC in their last game and extended their winning streak to nine games, completing the first half of the season as best they could.

Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic feels his team has the quality to fight any challenge. “From the beginning, we believed we had the ability to beat anyone. And we have seen so far that the so-called favorites can not win simple games. We have a good team and we believe we can build good momentum, “said the Serbian strategist.

Alvaro Vazquez continued to score for Kerala, scoring the fourth goal of the campaign in the last game. Adrian Luna is another player who has enjoyed full form and Vukomanovic hopes the pair will continue.

Captain Jesal Carnero is facing a prolonged spell on the side due to injury. Harmanjot Singh Khabra’s participation in the match is also in doubt. It is almost certain that full back Nishu Kumar will be featured from the beginning.

For Odisha, skipper Jerry Mavihmingthanga has sharpened his arsenal. He scored two goals and provided one assist in Odisha’s 4-2 win over Mumbai City and is looking extremely impressive. However, Odisha’s concern will be their leaky backline. They have scored 22 goals in their 9 games and have a combined-worst defensive record in the league with Northeast United.

Head coach Kiko Ramirez is aware of the danger against the Kerala Blasters. “They have things going their way now and we realize they are in good form. Our boys are working hard to meet the challenge, but we need to understand that the three foreign attackers (Alvaro Vazquez, Adrian Luna and Jorge Pereira Diaz) are rich in their form, “said Ramirez.

The match could be high scoring as both Kerala and Odisha want to score. In the first round, Kerala beat Odisha 2-1 and all three goals came from open play.

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