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Punjab FC hope to leap ahead in playoff race with a win against Odisha FC

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NewsDrum Desk
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Bhubaneswar, Apr 1 (PTI) Punjab FC would look to extend their three-match winning streak on the road when they face Odisha FC in a crucial game of their Indian Super League campaign here on Tuesday.

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A win will put the ISL debutants Punjab side two points clear of Bengaluru FC who currently occupy the fourth play-off spot.

The Shers shared spoils with FC Goa in their last match in a six-goal thriller in New Delhi -- their home venue -- before the international break while Odisha FC played out a goalless draw against Bengaluru FC on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of the game, PFC head coach Staikos Vergetis said, "We (are) against a very strong Odisha side who play very good effective football. They know when to attack and when to defend appropriately.

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"We have improved a lot as a team and as a coach, I am lucky to have this bunch of players. We have prepared ourselves well for tomorrow's match and we hope to get a positive result out of it." In the first leg on December 26, Roy Krishna's goal proved to be the decider as The Juggernauts came away with all three points in a hard-fought match.

The attacking triumvirate of Madih Talal, Luka Majcen and Wilmar Jordan Gil have turned the fortunes of Punjab FC since the league restarted after the AFC Asian Cup.

Madih Talal in particular has been in terrific form throughout the season, scoring four goals and assisting in another eight, which is the highest in the league. He has also created 44 chances, which is the highest in the league by some distance.

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The striking pair of Luka Majcen and Wilmar Jordan have scored seven and six goals each.

The midfield has been successful in being the bridge between the defence and attack line with Ricky Shabong and Nikhil Prabhu putting in standout performances in both defence and attack. Dimitrios Chatziisaias and Suresh Meitei have formed a formidable defensive combination in the centre, fizzing out opponent attacks.

Punjab FC are currently eighth on the table with 21 points from 19 matches while Odisha FC are third in the table with 36 points from 19 games. PTI PDS PDS AH AH

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