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ISL 2021-22, Odisha FC Team Preview: Squad, Fixtures, Key Players, Strength, Weakness, Predictions

Odisha FC will open ISL 2021-22 season against former champions Bengaluru FC (Images: Odisha FC Twitter)

Bengaluru, November 11: Odisha FC look to put behind a poor season when they kick off the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 campaign against Bengaluru FC on November 24 at Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa.

The Kalinga Warriors had a season to forget in 2020-21 as they finished at the foot of the points table in eleventh position, registering just two wins and six draws in 20 matches for a total of 12 points.

On the backdrop of that campaign, Odisha FC overhauled their management by appointing Spain legend David Villa as the head of the three member technical committee and they also hired his compatriot Kiko Ramirez as the head coach.

The Juggernauts have also sealed a partnership with Premier League club Watford and Brazilian side Avaí Futebol Clube. They have also made some transfers to address the issues from last season.

Now, ahead of the new ISL season, myKhel takes a look at the SWOT, squad, fixtures and prediction for Odisha FC:

Odisha FC Strengths

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 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

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

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

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

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.

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Story first published: Thursday, November 11, 2021, 10:19 [IST]
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