Odisha FC will host defending champions Bengaluru FC in match 31 of the Indian Super League 2019-20. The match will be played at Odisha’s temporary home Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. The home side are unbeaten in four games but three of them have been draws and Josep Gombau’s side will be looking to break the trend of three-consecutive draws when they welcome the Blues. Bengaluru, on the other hand, were held to a 1-1 draw as Robin Singh scored in the injury time to make sure the points were shared. Both teams have players in their teams, who can make a great impact in the match, so before this clash, we take a look at some of the key players for this encounter.
Bengaluru are one of the two undefeated sides in the competition and as a result, find themselves one point behind the league leaders ATK. Sunil Chhetri has scored in his last three games for Bengaluru and will be looking to continue this run against the newcomers. Raphael Augusto has been fantastic but needs to add numbers to his game and ease some pressure off his captain Chhetri. Odisha’s Aridane Santana is second on the goal-scoring chart and will be looking to add to his tally against the defending champions. This match will be a notable occasion for Xisco Hernandez as the Spaniard will play against the club with whom he won the title last season.
The Spaniard has been the main focal point of Odisha’s attack this season and has scored four goals in the campaign so far. He has led the line well and has caused difficulties for the opposition defence. The forward has scored 50 percent of Odisha’s goals this season and will be looking to continue his form against the Bengaluru.
The Indian captain has found his form back after struggling at the start of the season. Sunil Chhetri has scored three goals in Bengaluru’s last three matches and will be looking to extend that run against the side from Bhubaneswar.
This will be a special match for the midfielder as the Spaniard will be playing against the club with whom he won the title last season. The midfielder has been influential for the Odisha as he is their second-highest goal-scorer with three strikes this season. Within him and Santana they have scored seven out of Odisha’s eight goals.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Bengaluru have conceded just two goals this season and the Indian shot-stopper has been the main reason behind it. Sandhu has been a commanding figure behind the Bengaluru defence this season and also leads the league in clean sheets with four. The Bengaluru keeper will look to continue his great form record his fifth clean sheet of the season.
The 36-year-old Spaniard is the main engine room behind this dominating Bengaluru side. The midfielder leads the league in most passes completed with 390 passes and also has two assists to his name. Dimas is what keeps the Bengaluru midfield ticking and he will be eager to have the same impact on this match.
Bengaluru will go into this match as the favourites but will face a tough task against a resolute Odisha side. The defending champions will be looking for a win to put the disappointment of the last game behind them and climb to the top of the points table.