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Home advantage for Odisha FC against ATK Mohun Bagan as top 6 fight gets intriguing

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 hits the midway point of the season this week as Odisha FC prepare to keep their perfect home record intact when they face ATK Mohun Bagan in matchweek 11 at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Thursday.

In order to successfully defend their home record, the Juggernauts will have to defeat the Mariners – a feat they have not achieved in the Hero ISL yet.

The Kalinga Warriors were gaining fine momentum over the last few weeks after winning three games in a row but the streak came to a halt the past weekend as they lost 3-0 to FC Goa.

The club’s top-scorer this season, Nandhakumar Sekar, was red-carded in the second half against FC Goa. The winger has started every game this season and has scored four goals so far. The unavailability of Sekar will be challenging for the Juggernauts. Isak Vanlalruatfela could have been the replacement, but Isak himself is out with an injury. 

“We have different options that we can use in this [left wing] position. We are thinking deeply about who will replace Nandha, but that is something people will find out [just] before the match,” said Gombau. “Last week, we did well in Goa, but after being reduced to ten men, the result did not go in our favour. I am satisfied with the players’ approach. Retaining the same mentality, we go into the game tomorrow and will try to get points at home,” he added.

ATK Mohun Bagan will be aiming for their fourth win on the bounce for the first time since the Hero ISL 2020-21 season. On this three-game winning streak, the Mariners have shown how defensively astute they are by keeping three successive clean sheets – all three wins have been by a one-goal margin.

Dimitri Petratos has nine goal contributions in eight games for the Mariners. The striker is ATK Mohun Bagan’s top-scorer with four goals and also leads their assists chart with five under his belt so far. Ashique Kuruniyan came in to replace the injured Manvir Singh on the flank, and the side have not felt the absence of the latter ever since.