Delhi Dynamos would look to bounce back from their heavy defeat in their last match when they take on NorthEast United FC in their first home game of the season in new Delhi on Saturday.
The Dynamos began their ISL season on a winning note with a 3-2 victory over FC Pune City but suffered a 1-4 drubbing at the hands of tournament new-comers Bengaluru FC in their second away match on November 26.
The Dynamos would look to forget that defeat and try to notch up a win in front of their home supporters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium which will be hosting its first match after the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
One area of concern for the Dynamos in the two matches they have played has been their defensive frailties as the Delhi side have conceded six goals so far while scoring four.
“It’s a problem conceding six goals in two matches. But it’s not just about our defence. Rather, it’s about the way we have been defending as a team. I don’t like it. Our philosophy is to press well and we have not been doing that and I’m worried about that,” Dynamos head coach Miguel Angel Portugal said at the pre-match press conference.
Coach Portugal will have a first taste of his home venue which will also see big support for NorthEast United as many football-mad people from that part of the country stay in the National Capital.
“I know my stadium. Our support, I think, will be the difference because it’s good to have fans supporting your team through the entire game. But that will be the only advantage we have in the match. We’ll have to play the game the same way as we did in the first two matches,” the Spaniard said.
Portugal said he has some injured players but did not disclose who.
NorthEast United are yet to register any points and are still waiting to score their first goal in ISL 4 but head coach Joao Carlos Pires de Deus said he would not change the way his side have been playing.
“What I tell my boys is to do the same as we did in the first two games. We created enough opportunities in those two matches. We’ll try to do the same against Delhi Dynamos and hope we get a little bit more lucky,” de Deus said.
“Nobody is injured and everybody is available for selection. I am going to make some changes in the team though I cannot tell it now. But I am going to field the best first eleven tomorrow.”
De Deus also spoke about Dynamos’ attack which boasts of Nigerian forward Kalu Uche and teenage starlet and last match hero Lallianzuala Chhangte.
“They are a good attack. And they have a balanced squad. We have studied our opponents and we’ll try to minimise their attacking threat,” the Portuguese coach said.
In the head-to-head record so far, NorthEast United have managed one win over Dynamos while the Delhi side have emerged triumphant on two occasions while the remaining three matches have been drawn affairs.
Asked about this piece of statistics, de Deus said, “The past six matches of NorthEast United were not played under me. Tomorrow’s match will be my first match against Delhi Dynamos. Past history for the museums. It will be new coaches and new players tomorrow for both sides. Past results do not matter.”