Blues jet off to Bhubaneswar as Odisha challenge beckons

Grayson’s Men Eager To Claim First Win On The Road As String Of Away Fixtures Commence With Clash At Kalinga

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC travel to the east coast in search of three points, as their Indian Super League campaign continues with a clash against Odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Tuesday. Simon Grayson’s Blues go into this game with a slight advantage on the form guide, having earned a point at home against table toppers FC Goa last week, while the Juggernauts suffered a 2-1 loss to Kerala Blasters in their most recent fixture in Kochi.

“We saw Odisha narrowly missing out on the playoff spot last season, but eventually going on to win the Super Cup. They’ve brought in a new coach who is experienced in the ISL, and roped in some quality foreigners who also know what it takes to play in the division. We’re respectful of them, but we go out there knowing that we want to take three points back with us,” said Grayson.

The two sides go into the clash level on points, having played four games apiece. Bengaluru have four points from their most recent two fixtures, while Lobera’s side have suffered consecutive defeats to Goa and Kerala. Lobera, whose side ran out 6-1 winners against Maziya S&RC in their AFC Cup fixture, will rely on an attack spearheaded by former Blues’ striker Roy Krishna and Brazilian Diego Mauricio, that has yielded 7 goals this term. 

“With a Spanish coach (Sergio Lobera), I’m certain that Odisha will look to keep a lot of the possession and try to dictate the tempo. We will have to be disciplined in our work ethic and defensive shape to make sure we don’t give them an advantage on the field. Against (FC) Goa last week, I thought we allowed them too much space in the first half and we’ll have to avoid that on Tuesday,” Grayson added.

Winger Halicharan Narzary made his debut for the Blues at the Fortress last week, and it remains to be seen how Grayson chooses to line his squad up for Tuesday, having earlier made six changes to the side that came away with the points against East Bengal FC. The fixture on Tuesday is one of three that the Blues will play away from home, with trips to Hyderabad FC (4th November) and NorthEast United FC (26th November) scheduled next.

Kick-off between Odisha FC and Bengaluru FC is scheduled for 8 PM IST and will be telecast live on Jio Cinema and across the Sports18 Network.

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