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Chennai vs Odisha, Indian Football League 2020-21, Match Preview

Odisha will take on Chennai in the first doubleheader clash of the Indian Football League. Chennai suffered a 4-1 defeat to Hyderabad, while Odisha secured its first victory of the season on Thursday night. 

Match Timings: Jan 10, 5 PM IST 

Team Preview 

Odisha and Chennai both have been the poor sides of this season, and they take the spots in the bottom four. Chennai looked solid in the last couple of games, but they didn’t carry the momentum as Hyderabad thrashed Chennai 4-1 on Monday night. Hyderabad was in control from the starting of the first half. Both sides canceled out each other in the first half. Chennai started the second half on a positive note, but opportunities were missing. Joao Victor blocked Memo Moura’s shot, which was set up by Tahpa and Tangri. Hyderabad started the scoring through confusion between Eli Sabia and Vishal Kaith. After Joel Chianese’s strike, Nizams doubled their lead in the 53rd minute through Halicharan Narzary’s strike. 

Chennai tried to attack hard, and after a few substitutions, Anirudh Thapa got better of Laximakant Kattimani to score the goal. The thing got worse for Chennai as Joao Victor set the ball past the goalkeeper and make it 3-1 in Hyderabad's favor. In the 79th minute, Chennai conceded the fourth goal, and Narzary completed his brace. Chennai have to improve in its defense, which looked dull this season. They should be thankful to goalkeeper Vishal Kaith who stood against the tight attack. Hyderabad easily made things easier against Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Sipovic, and Jerry. With each match, the equation for the playoffs qualification is getting stronger. Chennai have to solve these issues before entering into the second half. 

Meanwhile, Odisha’s horror winless streak comes to an end with a compelling 4-2 victory against Kerala on Thursday night. It was Odisha’s first victory after eight matches. Kerala took an early lead in the 7th minute through Jordan Murray. Odisha had two close penalty appeals, and they formed the pressure on Kerala. They equalised in the 22nd minute with Jeakson Singh’s own goal. After the cooling break, Diego Mauricio almost got a goal, but Gomes saved it. Odisha took the lead in the 42nd minute as Steven Taylor sent the ball past Gomes through Jerry’s fine free-kick. 

Diego Mauricio missed another chance in the early minutes of the second half, but he responded quickly with a goal in the 50th minute. Mauricio made it 4-1 with another fine goal and completed his brace. Kerala got their second goal through substitute Gary Hooper and Odisha walked away with the full three points. Diego Mauricio now has scored five goals this season, and if Odisha is expecting a turnaround, Diego has to play with similar intent. Manuel Onwu hasn’t scored a goal yet, and Baxter would expect some assistance between two strikers. Arshdeep Singh was also excellent in his goalkeeping role. Kerala had 10 shots on target, and Odisha conceded only two. In the 23rd minute, he saved Vicente Gomez's header. He also denied goals to Gaurav Bora and Facundo Pereyra with stunning saves. Odisha just needs to extend this performance to avoid a bottom finish. 

Possible Lineups & Current Form 

Chennai 

Vishal Kaith; Reagan Singh, Eli Sabia, Enes Sipovic, Jerry Lalrinzuala; Deepak Tangri, Memo Moura, Anirudh Thapa; Rahim Ali, Jakub Sylvestr, Lallianzuala Chhangte

Current form: L D D W D 

Previous match: 4-1 defeat to Hyderabad 

Odisha 

Arshdeep Singh, Gaurav Bora, Steven Taylor, Jacob Tratt, Hendry Antonay; Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Cole Alexander, Vinit Rai, Nandhakumar Sekar; Manuel Onwu, Diego Mauricio 

Current form: W L D L L 

Previous match: 4-2 win against Kerala 

Key Players 

Chennai 

Anirudh Thapa 

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Jakub Sylvestr 

1 goal & 2 assists in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Odisha 

Steven Taylor 

2 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21 

Diego Mauricio 

5 goals in Indian Football League 2020-21

MyTeam11 Desk
MyTeam11 Desk
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