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Football ISL: Mumbai start favourites against shaky Odisha
Bambolim, December 5, 2020
Buoyed by the convincing win in their previous match, a confident Mumbai city start favourites against shaky Odisha in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) Season 7 at the GMC Stadium here on Sunday.
After tentative performances in their opening two games, Mumbai City handed a 3-0 drubbing to East Bengal and a win against Odisha will help them go level on points with current table topper Mohun Bagan.
The likes of Ahmed Jahouh, Rowllin Borges and Adam le Fondre were in sublime form against East Bengal and Mumbai will be hard to beat should they continue in the same vein.
Mumbai were touted as one of the teams to watch out for before the league even began but Head Coach Sergio Lobera is not getting distracted by the expectations and maintains that his focus is solely on his team.
"For me, there are no favourites," he said. "This season is a very different season with special circumstances. My focus is on my team and I need to improve them. We have won a couple of games but there are a lot of things we need to improve."
Odisha, on the other hand, are not in the best of form and have only a solitary point so far, but the Spanish coach expects a tough fight from them nonetheless. "Every game is different, Odisha is a very good team," Lobera said. "They have an experienced coach and it is going to be a difficult game for us."
Odisha coach Stuart Baxter has problems all over the pitch. His side has managed to score just twice in three games and has been leaking at the back, with the defence making multiple errors.
Their inability to score stands out especially considering only Chennaiyin have had more shots on goal than them (11). Baxter though believes that the goals will come with time.
"The final third is about flank-play, it's about finishing, it's about combination play. All these things we've been working very hard on. But our possession has not been of the best quality. We've not got the numbers up there at times, we've not got the bodies into the boxes. We've been working on that and I think the possession has been better. I think we will start to also translate that into strikes on goal," Baxter said.