The Indian Super League fans are duly rewarded with a string surprises as we edge closer towards the playoffs. By the end of the matchday 15, the tally saw a major upturn with Jorge Costa’s Mumbai City FC scaling Odisha FC to climb fourth on the table. Chennaiyin FC, who have now registered four wins on the trot, sit level on points with Josep Gambou’s men on fifth, and this chaotic mess has made the league all the most interesting.
ATK vs Odisha FC
Two back to back defeats – away to Bengaluru FC and FC Goa – has weakened Odisha FC’s stance in the Indian Super League. For a team which look destined to qualify for the playoffs now see as many as two teams sitting over them. Up next for them is another away trip, this time against the third-placed ATK, who have won four of their last five games.
ATK, regardless of their recent inconsistencies, have scored in seven of their last eight outings. It was, in fact, against Odisha back in November that they played out a 0-0 stalemate. Fortunes, however, have taken big turns since given that Odisha will be without their main man, Aridane Santana for the rest of the season.
For Odisha, the line of fixtures have come at a really unfortunate time (they faced the top three teams in a row), and that coupled with the injuries have made life difficult for them. Regardless of their recent defeats though, they have managed to net two goals in six of their last eight games, with five of them culminating in a victory.
Watch out for:
Roy Krishna: For someone who was scoring goals at will earlier in the season, a drought of five games – prior to the Jamshedpur victory - in a row remains a cause of concern. However, with striker David Williams back in the fray, expect Krishna to get into his groove as Odisha pay his side a visit on Saturday, February 8. Both Williams and Krishna formed a formidable and an almost telepathic partnership this season, and expect more of a same on the weekend.
Inter vs Milan:
Back on the Italian shores, Juventus lead the pack with a three-point advantage over second-placed Inter, and it is safe to say the race is far from over. The latter, who recently drew three games in a row, welcome their inter-city neighbours, AC Milan on Sunday and given the upturn in form the visitors have observed of late, Inter are in for some hard fight.
As far as their head to head record is concerned, Milan fall way too far given that their last victory over Inter in the league came in back in 2016 when the likes of Alex, Carlos Bacca and M’Baye Niang guided the Rossoneri to a 3-0 win. Since then though, it has all been about Inter.
Watch out for:
Romelu Lukaku: The big man leading Inter right from the front has made quite an impact in Italy since his move from Manchester United. He has indeed failed to get on the scoresheet in three of his last four appearances, but before that, he was involved in as many as eight goals (six goals and six assists) in just four appearances. And back when these two sides met in the league earlier this season, his goal gave Inter a cushion as they cruised to a 2-0 win. Having scored as many as 16 goals in the league this season, the Belgian is tipped to add more to his tally on Sunday.
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Feature image courtesy: Twitter / ATKFC