ANI Photo | Odisha FC host Mohun Bagan SG in first leg of semi-final 1 of ISL 2023-24

Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant will clash at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in the first leg of their semi-final encounter of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Tuesday.
Odisha FC are winless in their nine ISL encounters against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant. They have drawn five games and lost four in this period. Both their matches in the ISL this season resulted in a draw, and only against FC Goa (10) have Odisha FC played more matches without recording a victory in the league.
Simultaneously, Sergio Lobera has managed to build a bastion at the Kalinga Stadium in his first season in charge of the club. They are unbeaten in their 12 matches at home in the current campaign, and Bengaluru FC are the only side to have played more consecutive matches on their home turf without losing (19 matches from January 2018 to November 2019).
However, Odisha FC had defeated the Mohun Bagan Super Giant by 5-2 in their AFC Cup fixture earlier this season, showing that they have it in them to get the better of the mighty Mariners across 90 minutes. Lobera will want to leave no stone unturned to get his side at least a slight goal advantage before the high-octane action shifts to Kolkata for the second leg.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant has been on a terrific run of form both at home and on the road in this campaign. They have won each of their last four away matches and kept a clean sheet in two of them. The club has dropped points away from home only twice this season, which suggests that Odisha FC cannot completely bank on their strengths.
Moreover, they are unbeaten in their last five playoff games in the competition, keeping a clean sheet in four of these matches.
Arguably, their biggest strength is the ability to unlock the opposition in different ways, having won 57.05 per cent of their aerial duels, which is the highest such rate of any team in ISL 2023-24. Whilst Odisha FC have Mourtada Fall to guard their backline against any such threats, they must counter every such facet of the game where the Mariners are ahead of them.
Having scored 47 goals from their 22 league matches, the Mohun Bagan Super Giant can turn the intensity on in the frontline, keeping them in the fray of things in all phases of the match.

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