Neither team have had campaigns to write home about. While Odisha lies at the very bottom of the table, East Bengal hasn’t fared much better and is ninth. However, ending the season with a convincing win could give some relief to both sets of long-suffering supporters.
Robbie Fowler’s side was always pegged down by the inability of its forwards to convert possession into goals. Bright Enobakhare remains the only one of its strikers to have netted this season and SCEB lie at the very bottom of the goals scored list. The club was also let down by the failure of its Indian forwards to fire. Despite boasting big names like Jeje Lalpekhlua, CK Vineeth and Balwant Singh, Fowler managed to get zero shots on target from the trio.
Odisha has had similar woes throughout the season. Except for Diego Mauricio, no other player stepped up in the goalscoring department. Mauricio was responsible for 57 per cent of the goals that his team scored all season. Odisha coach Steven Dias though believes that his team will learn from its mistakes and come back stronger in the next season. “When you have a bad season there is always good to learn so many things out of this bad season. This season isn’t that good for us but there are so many things to learn from this season,” he said. Odisha’s winless run now stands at ten games and it has also lost the most games and kept the least clean sheets. But despite the match featuring two teams who have nothing to play for but pride, Dias feels that both sets of players will not be short of motivation.