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ISL action returns after international break with Odisha-Bengaluru FC clash – World News Network

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 30 (ANI): The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 action returns from the international break with Bengaluru FC hosting Odisha FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday, at 5:00 pm IST.
Odisha FC held the top spot in the points table for a large chunk of the second half of the campaign. However, they have slipped seven points out of a possible 12 in their last four games, losing 2-1 to Chennaiyin FC in their previous ISL fixture.
They then went on to lose 4-0 to the Central Coast Mariners in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup inter-zonal semi-finals across two legs, thus crashing their hopes of progressing further in the continental championship.
Presently, the Kalinga Warriors have 35 points from 18 games, with 10 wins, five draws and three losses. They are six points off the top-placed Mumbai City FC (41), who have played an additional game (19) as compared to Odisha FC.
On the other hand, Bengaluru FC has 21 points from 19 games, the same equation as sixth-placed Punjab FC. Impressive outings in the next three matches can see them make it to the playoffs, which will be a big win under the watch of head coach Gerard Zaragoza, who took over the reins in December. Bengaluru has won five matches, drawn six, and lost eight so far, as per a press release from the ISL.
-Key Players to Watch Out
Chingangbam Shivaldo Singh (Bengaluru FC)
Shivaldo Singh has made nine appearances in ISL 2023-24. He netted in their previous match against FC Goa, starting the game and finding the back of the net in the second minute of the game. He has won four aerial duels, six tackles, and also 16 duels until now.
With two blocks and 14 recoveries, and 76 successful passes, he has created two goal-scoring opportunities and recorded a couple of goal contributions until now. He has notched 72 percent passing accuracy so far, and will be hoping for further impactful contributions moving forward in the campaign.
Roy Krishna (Odisha FC)
Roy Krishna has been pivotal to the success of Odisha FC so far, scoring 12 goals and assisting once in 18 ISL appearances. He has completed 15 successful dribbles, made 29 key passes, created 30 goal-scoring opportunities, won 86 duels, and recorded a 44.44 percent goal conversion rate. He has made 68 touches in the opposition’s box and 77 recoveries so far.
With 24 passes per game, he has recorded a 74 per cent passing accuracy and struck a formidable partnership with Brazilian forward Diego Mauricio. The seasoned ISL forward will be hoping to be at the top of his game to help Odisha FC challenge for the top honours this month.
-Head-to-Head
Played – 13
Odisha FC – 5
Bengaluru FC – 7
Draws – 1
-Team Talk
“We trained very well in the last two weeks. Odisha FC is a very good team, with strong individuals and a very good coach, but we know that we will play at the Kanteerava and we will have our supporters behind us,” Bengaluru FC head coach Gerard Zaragoza said in the pre-match press conference.
“We have to ensure that the players recover physically as well as mentally. It is a big challenge to come back into the competition after the break, but we are very excited about the same too,” Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera said ahead of the game. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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