Opponent Watch Ft. Odisha FC

The Final edition of the AFC Cup is all set to start on 19th September. This year's AFC Cup will be long and quite thrilling as the AFC is returning the round robin Home and away matches. 36 clubs from 37 member associations will contend for the Continental triumph. Mohun Bagan is placed in the South Zone along with Indian side Odisha FC, Maldivian side Maziya Sports and Recreation and Bangladeshi side Basundhara Kings..

What is Odisha FC packing for the AFC Cup 2023/24?

The reigning Super Cup 2023 champions Odisha FC are one of the rising and competitive sides to see in the Indian Super League. Bringing one of the most decorated coaches Sergio Lobera, they are the ones to worry about for the Century old side for the continental triumph. 

Mohun Bagan has a clean sheet against Odisha FC in their past ISL encounters with 4 Mohun Bagan wins and 3 draws. But beating them this season, especially in an all-Indian affair in the AFC Cup will be quite the tough nut to break for Juan Ferrando with top-quality signings and a major squad revamp for the Odisha side. 

Sergio Lobera in the driving seat:

As mentioned, Sergio Lobera is now in his fifth season in India and his first season with Odisha FC. The former double winner of the ISL 2020/21 season and Indian season double winner of 2019-20, he became one of the most highly decorated foreign coaches in the Indian scene. He installed a winning mentality in an already star-studded Goa and Mumbai City team to give their 110% in every match despite the intensity of the match. His highly competitive yet calm nature and the trust he builds around his bunch of players create a huge problem for rival managers and coaches. His favourite 4-2-3-1 formation gave him the fame and trophies he needed, this simple yet complex formation often gives him an advantage to transition according to the pace and intensity the opponent is giving his team. 

Odisha FC may have no reputation for competing in the big leagues but with the addition of Sergio Lobera the mentality he is putting in is making Odisha FC break out in the big leagues.

Courtesy: Indian Super League

Strengths of Odisha FC:

As mentioned, this team received a major revamp after the Super Cup win, with the addition of new coaching staffs, notable CDM Signing Ahmed Jahouh, CB Mortada Fall, CB Amey Ranawade and Asian signing CY Goddard will make the difference this year. As all of these players are former Mumbai City players and previously worked with Lobera, it is quite obvious they have a great Coach-Player chemistry which many reputed clubs lack. CDM Jahouh is quite dangerous with his ball distribution and defensive skills, and Mourtada Fall is especially known for his blocking. With the likes of quality Indian signing CM Puitea, and CAM Givson Singh the domestic side of the club looks quite impressive to say. Also goalkeeper Amrinder Singh holds a huge experience in playing in these high intense Continental games, his incredible shot-stopping power will create difference

Another thing to add, Odisha FC went to Thailand for their pre-season and fielded their Reserve team in the Durand. They did come with a positive vibe and results from Thailand which shows they had a good pre-season.

Photo Courtesy: Odisha FC

Former Mariner in the Forward zone:

The revamp in the squad left no corners in the goal department, Former Mohun Bagan forward and ISL top scorer Roy Krishna is well known for his unreal attacking mentality and pace is going to benefit this Odisha team very likely in the Continental affairs. His recent form may be questionable but he can be dangerous if he finds his old form and won't think twice to put himself in the scoresheet. 

Photo Courtesy: Odisha FC

Weakness of Odisha FC: 

As mentioned, this is a new squad and new coach, so it will be quite difficult for them to anticipate what to expect. Their main team hasn't played a single professional match with Indian clubs until now as they placed their reserve team in the Durand cup. The initial chemistry can be missing from the squad entirely. 

Although they had a good pre-season and have the confidence of having a good squad, the quality of Mohun Bagan can give them difficulties as Mohun Bagan has far superior chemistry and the confidence to from winning the Durand Cup. 

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