Vasco da Gama:
Odisha beat Mumbai City FC in their last outing to get back to winning ways after a spell of underwhelming performances. The Kiko Ramirez-coached side looked sharp in attack and also held firm at the back in the high-scoring encounter. They now find themselves in the eighth spot in the points table with 13 points from nine games.
In Kerala Blasters, Odisha will have an opponent who are brimming with confidence after making it to the top of the table for the first time in seven years. They beat Hyderabad FC in their last game to extend their winning run to nine games, finishing the first half of the season in the best way possible.
Alvaro Vazquez has continued to fire for Kerala, netting his fourth goal of the campaign in the last game. Adrian Luna is another Kerala player who has enjoyed a rich vein of form. Captain Jessel Carneiro is set to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines with injury. There are doubts over Harmanjot Singh Khabra's participation in the match as well but full back Nishu Kumar is almost certain to feature from the start.
For Odisha, skipper Jerry Mawihmingthanga has sharpened their arsenal. He scored two goals and provided one assist in Odisha's 4-2 win over Mumbai City and has looked extremely impressive. However, Odisha's concern would be their leaky backline. They have conceded 22 goals in their nine games and have the joint-worst defensive record in the league along with NorthEast United.
The match is expected to be a high-scoring affair as both Kerala and Odisha like to score goals. In the first leg, Kerala edged past Odisha 2-1 and all three goals came from open play.