Looking for their first win, Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC will be desperate to come out as the better team when they clash against each other in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawarlal Nehru Stadium in the capital on Tuesday.
Off to a bad start in the season, Delhi Dynamos stand on the seventh position on the ISL 2018-19 table with just two points that they earned from their two draws against FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters. The Dynamos also went down against an inspired ATK, who could not deliver at home twice but beat Josep Gombau’s side in their own stadium 2-1 last week.
They then escaped another loss as a late equaliser by Andrija Kaludjerovic against Kerala Blasters helped them return home with a point.
Gombau argues that Delhi Dynamos is a new team and must be given more time before expecting big wins. “We are a new team. We are trying to play a new style of football. This is something that cannot happen in one day. I think we deserve more than the two points we have because, in all the three games, we had chances to win the game,” he said ahead of the match.
The side now needs to focus on attacking, having scored only three goals in three matches. “The important thing is that we are playing good football. We are creating chances and when we convert them, we will win matches. I hope that we win,” Gombau added on Monday. They will be without midfielder Marcos Tebar, who is out due to a hamstring injury.
Standing at the bottom of the table, Chennaiyin FC have failed to dominate in any of their opening three matches, losing to Bengaluru FC, FC Goa and North East United FC. The absence of Dhanpal Singh in the middle has hurt the defending champions, who are keen to put their struggles behind.
Coach John Gregory blames defensive mistakes for the two-time champions’ poor start to the tournament this season. “You can always look at the reason why we have not started so well. But the effort that the boys have put in for all three matches is incredible. I certainly have no problems with the way that they have approached the games. It is just that we have made a couple of defensive mistakes. Big mistakes, which we rarely made last season in the 18 regular season matches,” he said.
With Rene Mihelic and Bikramjit Singh moving to Delhi this season from Chennai, Gregory knows what his side is up against. “We obviously know that we are playing against Delhi. They have a couple of our old players from last season who have both won gold medals (from last season). We are expecting a tough game,” the Englishman said.
Chennaiyin will earn themselves an unwanted record of being the only team in ISL history to lose their first four matches if they go down against Delhi Dynamos on Tuesday.