Placed at the bottom half of the points table, FC Pune City would look to get the better of toppers Delhi Dynamos to keep their semifinals hopes alive when the two sides take on each other in an Indian Super League football match.
Pune are placed sixth with 12 points from 10 matches and will need full points against the league leaders on Friday to stay alive. Delhi are comfortably placed with 17 points from 10 matches.
Under-pressure Pune head coach Antonio Habas said except for Delhi, no team can take their qualification to the semi-finals for granted.
“We are on the hunt for a win. This league is very tough and all teams are in a similar situation. We are ready to grab these three points,” said Habas at the pre-match media interaction.
Pune were flying high after victories over Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC but they were grounded by Chennaiyin FC who scripted a comfortable 2-0 victory in their last clash. Habas admitted losing all points was a setback but all is still not lost for his team.
“All teams, except Delhi, are close (to each other on the table). The teams who play better and score goals will be the ones who make less mistakes. If you look at the points table, it’s all about plus or minus two points difference. Now it’s all about minimising mistakes,” said the Spanish coach who will be under pressure to deliver.
There is no doubt Delhi Dynamos are among the best teams on view in the league but that is not enough for coach Gianluca Zambrotta.
He has continued to stress that his team has not yet achieved their primary target of qualification for the play-offs and that target could come closer on Friday if they manage to win against Pune.
“At the moment we are in a good position but we are (still) a long way off from the play-offs. It’s a strong league. The next four matches will not be easy. We have to take match by match. Right now our focus is only on this match against Pune,” said the Italian World Cup winner.
Delhi did extremely well to snatch a point against Atletico de Kolkata in their last match with an exciting 2-2 draw, achieved despite having a player sent off in the first session.
Zambrotta will miss Milan Singh who scored a screamer against ATK but picked up a booking, his fourth of the league, which automatically suspends him for one match.
“I know Pune lost the last match (against Chennaiyin) but they have won two successive games against Kolkata and Mumbai. They are a difficult team and have good quality players,” said Zambrotta.