ISL 2020-21 CLUB PREVIEW: Are Odisha FC destined for lower table places?

Into only their second season as Odisha Football Club in the Indian Super League, the men from the farther East will look to compete against the rest in a battle for playoffs supremacy. But, considering that is the case with every other club of the 11 ones fighting in the league, can Odisha achieve a miracle?

ISL 2020/21: 5 Key players for Odisha FC
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We take a look at how Odisha stacks up ahead of the ISL 2020 season :

TRANSFERS

‘The Kalinga Warriors’, as their fans call them, recently brought in a host of new players to refresh the look of the squad. Notable signings included Steven Taylor and Jacob Tratt to reinforce the backline.

They did, however, decide to not retain the services of attacking midfielder Xisco Hernandez and winger Romeo Fernandes ahead of the new season. Albino Gomes and Lalchhuanmawia also joined Kerala and Chennai respectively on free transfers.

SQUAD LIST

GOALKEEPERS

  • Arshdeep Singh
  • Ravi Kumar
  • Kamaljit Singh
  • Ankit Bhuyan

DEFENDERS

  • Gaurav Bora
  • George D’Souza
  • Henry Antonay
  • Jacob
  • Kamalpreet Singh
  • Shubham Sarangi
  • Saurabh Meher
  • Mohd Sajid Dhot
  • Steven Taylor

MIDFIELDERS

  • Baoringdao Bodo
  • Cole Alexander
  • S Lalhrezuala
  • Nandhakumar Sekar
  • Paul Ramfangzauva
  • Samuel Lalmuanpuia
  • Isak Vanlalruatfela
  • Jerry Mawihmingthanga
  • Thoiba Singh
  • Vinit Rai

FORWARDS

  • Diego Mauricio
  • Laishram Singh
  • Manuel Onwu
  • Daniel Lalhlimpuia
  • Marcelinho

STRENGTH

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What makes this Odisha side tick, is their no-nonsense style of play courtesy of Stuart Baxter. The former Vissel Kobe manager has coached a number of European and Asian clubs and has a defensively astute formation to counter the strong sides.

WEAKNESS

The infusion of too many young players might see them lose out on clutch moments during the important games. Add to the fact that there has not been a long time for teams to build chemistry, it might just be too late before Odisha can master a winning combination.

KEY PLAYER

Marcelinho signs a one-year-contract with Odisha FC - The Away End

One does not need to look beyond ISL great Marcelinho. The ex-Pune City left winger has been instrumental in so many winning goals, whether that is scoring or assisting them. To be precise, 30 goals and 17 assists in 59 ISL appearances. It surely counts well that he has a good sense of leadership skills that can shore up the young Odisha outfit and motivate them on and off the field.

PREDICTED TABLE FINISH

9th Place – Despite the talent they possess much like every side in the ISL, Odisha might have a side for the long-term than the present, to provide a real fight to other contenders. 

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Bhargav Gopal
The quintessential football aficionado who knows a thing or two about Economics. One can often find me reading detective novels with coffee when I am away from the sports world.

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