Mohun Bagan SG host Odisha FC in what should be a cracker, and you can join us for pre-match build-up and live commentary right here on our blog:
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Mohun Bagan and Odisha have already played two classics, but neither of those came in the ISL. The first was in September when Sergio Lobera was rather rudely welcomed back to these shores with a 0-4 thumping in the AFC Cup. The second, in the same tournament, saw Lobera throw Juan Ferrando and Bagan out of the Cup with a thrilling 5-2 win at Salt Lake.
Domestically, though, Bagan continue to be dominant. They maybe four points of the leaders Goa but have two games in hand. They’ve played five and won five: scoring 12 and conceding just 4. They remain the team to beat in the ISL. And they will want to consign their AFC Cup exit to memory very fast – Juan Ferrando remains a man who’s constantly under pressure, given the quality of his side on paper and the perceived lack of attacking intent on the pitch, and he’ll want a W to show Lobera doesn’t have his number.
Odisha, on the other hand, have had a topsy-turvy start to the season with four wins, a draw and two losses in their seven games: which is why, despite having played two games more, they are two points off Bagan in fourth. They’ve won their last three ISL games by a margin of just a goal – and though it flies in the face of their coach’s philosophy, they’ll take it this early in the season. Sergio Lobera had once said that he’d much rather win 5-2 than 1-0, but he’d still much rather win than anything else.
Bagan have a distinct advantage in the head-to-head, having won five times to Odisha once in nine encounters. That, of course, doesn’t factor in the fact that Lobera’s Odisha is arguably the strongest iteration of this young club.
First appeared on www.espn.in