Bracing up for their second home game, Delhi Dynamos will be eager to get back to winning ways when they lock horns with Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) football here tomorrow.
One of the two undefeated teams in the third edition of the ISL, Delhi Dynamos have posted a win and drawn two in their three matches so far. Dynamos are at fourth position, having notched up five points from three games.
On the other hand, Mumbai City FC are placed second in the table with seven points, having won two, drawn one and lost one in their four matches so far.
Mumbai had lost to Kerala Blasters FC 0-1 in their last outing and would be hoping to come out all guns blazing.
In the four matches against Mumbai City FC, Delhi Dynamos FC have lost two in the first two editions, while winning and drawing one each.
Delhi had begun their campaign with an impressive 3-1 win over defending champions Chennaiyin FC in Chennai before playing out a goal-less draw at Kochi against Kerala Blasters to collect four points from two matches. They then played out a thrilling 1-1 draw with NorthEast United FC.
Dynamos’ World Cup winning coach Gianluca Zambrotta will hope that his strikers do not squander the chances that come their way against Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium tomorrow.
Against NorthEast United, they created good scoring chances for Richard Gadze, but the Ghanaian was wasteful and failed to convert. Brazilian Marcelinho, who was the star against Chennaiyin, remains their best bet to produce a chance out of nothing with his pace and trickery.
Florent Malouda, the marquee player, has made two appearances so far but hasn’t been as influential as in the last season. Their midfield didn’t do enough to stop the counter-attacks initiated by the north-eastern franchise, and even the defence needs to tighten after a poor showing the other night.
Mumbai’s marquee signing Diego Forlan will miss his third game. The good news for Mumbai though is that midfielder Pronay Halder is back into contention for a start after serving his one-game suspension.
Mumbai will look forward to Haitian Sony Norde for a good outing.
“We played a very good game against NorthEast United, if you consider that they are one of the best teams in the league. We had a lot of opportunities and of course we have to learn how we can utilise these opportunities. At the moment, I don’t think we have to change our strategy,” Dynamos coach Zambrotta said during the pre-match media briefing.
The Italian World Cup winner, unlike his Mumbai counterpart, has retained the core of the squad for all three matches and he is unlikely to change that approach even if matches come thick and fast.
“For me, it’s important to have an identity,” said Zambrotta, whose team is unbeaten in the league so far.
Mumbai City FC arrived here without their captain and talisman Diego Forlan. The former Manchester United striker has still not recovered from an injury and, according to coach Alexandre Guimaraes, should be “fully fit” for the next home clash against FC Goa.
Costa Rican coach though will not bother much about absentees. He has done well without several key players, either through injuries, international duty, or the four players who are on duty with Bengaluru FC in the AFC Cup semi-finals.
“I think Delhi Dynamos are doing well in the league. They try to play attractive football. They have shown they are a tough team. I hope we can have a good game,” he said.
Mumbai City FC have a battle on their hand for the next five matches as four will be played away and Guimaraes knows nothing will be easy.
“There is a block of four games in which three are away, so we know the importance to win points away as well. We did that in Pune but did not get any points in Kerala. We hope we can have a better game and take points. The tournament is showing us that every game is going to be tough,” said Guimaraes.