Odisha FC Strengths
With the addition of defenders Hector Rodas and Victor Mongil, the team's weakness last season might very well become its strength this season.
The additions of Sebastian, Lalruathara, and Panwar provides Kiko with a lot of quality options in the fullback position and has strengthened the position remarkably.
The signings of Isaac and Javi Hernandez have considerably strengthened the midfield positions. Nandha, Jerry and Aridai also add strength in the forward positions.
Odisha FC Weakness
Odisha FC's biggest weakness last season was their defence, which conceded 44 goals. They also struggled to create chances last season. However, both areas have been addressed with the new signings. The inexperienced youngsters, who have not been tested at the highest levels of competition, may also struggle.
The lack of ISL experienced players had hurt them last season as well but under a new coach, Odisha will expect better results from their youngsters. Kiko Ramirez also comes with no Asian coaching experience, as well as a squad that contains several new players that will take time to form good chemistry.
Odisha FC Squad
Goalkeepers: Kamaljit Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Kumar
Defenders: Gaurav Bora, Lalruathara, Sahil Panwar, Hendry Antonay, Lalhrezuala Sailung, Sebastian Thangmuansang, Deven Sawhney, Victor Mongil, Hector Rodas
Midfielders: Thoiba Singh Moirangthem, Vinit Rai, Paul Ramfangzauva, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Liridon Krasniqi, Javi Hernandez, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Nandhakumar Sekar, CVL Remtluanga, Nikhil Raj
Forwards: Akshunna Tyagi, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Aridai Cabrera, Jonathas Cristian De Jesus
Odisha FC Key Players
Javi Hernandez: The playmaker has moved to Odisha FC after excellent seasons with ATK Mohun Bagan, winning the title in 2019-20 season and a runner up finish in 2020-21 season. The Spaniard has had a good pre-season with the Kalinga Warriors and will hope to goal-scoring and creating prowess into the season proper. Odisha failed to create chances for their forwards last season, but this season, will be a different story with the former UD Salamanca midfielder in the side.
Victor Mongil and Hector Rodas: The Spanish central defensive pairing could play a vital role in front of shot-stopper Arshdeep Singh. After a poor record defensively last season, the Juggernauts will lean on the experienced duo to form a solid partnership. Like Javi, Mongil also lifted the ISL trophy with ATK. So, bringing in the winning mentality could be a boost to Odisha heading into the new season.
Odisha FC 2021-22 Fixtures till round 10
November 24: Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC - 7:30 PM IST
November 30: Odisha FC vs SC East Bengal - 7:30 PM IST
December 5: Kerala Blasters FC vs Odisha FC - 7:30 PM IST
December 10: Odisha FC vs NorthEast United FC - 7:30 PM IST
December 14: Odisha FC vs Jamshedpur FC - 7:30 PM IST
December 18: Chennaiyin FC vs Odisha FC - 7:30 PM IST
December 24: Odisha FC vs FC Goa - 7:30 PM IST
December 28: Hyderabad FC vs Odisha FC - 7:30 PM IST
January 3: Odisha FC vs Mumbai City FC - 7:30 PM IST
January 8: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Odisha FC - 7:30 PM IST
Odisha FC Season Predictions
If Kiko Ramirez fails to find his best team early, then Odisha could face the same fate as last season. With the addition of the experience and title-winning players, the other players could be motivated for success as well. However, a title or play-off spot may be far-fetched ambition for the Kalinga Warriors. Odisha may not end the season like last term when they finished 11th, but a bottom half finish still looks very likely for them.