Both teams find themselves at opposite ends of the table going into this end-of-season clash.
Delhi Dynamos FC welcome Chennaiyin FC in Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Sunday. The Lions have had a season of woes, having won only two matches thus far and come off the back of a couple of defeats. However, they beat high-flying Bengaluru in their last home fixture and will look to conjure something similar against another team high up in the standings.
Addressing the media during the pre-match press conference was Delhi Dynamos FC head coach Miguel Angel Portugal, who explained Delhi’s indifferent form this season. “The reason is very simple,” the Spaniard stated. “If you see the rankings, we have conceded 14 goals from corners and scored only one goal from corners. When the ball is in the air, we have had problems. When the ball is on the ground, we have played well – with good spirit and good combinations, with good possession. We have had problems when the ball is in the air in the area.”
The 62-year-old was critical about the mentality his players had shown in games. “We try to improve the quality, but it is a problem with the players,” he remarked. “The personality and character for winning is a big problem for our players. We try a lot in training, but the mentality is the problem.”
Portugal also provided an injury update. “We have been training well over the last 15 days or so at our training ground,” he said before revealing. “As for the injuries, Albino(Gomes), Pritam (Kotal), (Edu) Moya and Rowilson (Rodrigues) are out. Pratik (Chowdhary) is also out due to suspension.
Meanwhile, Chennaiyin FC’s head coach John Gregory maintained that he was looking forward to the fixture with a fit team. “I have always tried to play my best team, so it won’t be any different tomorrow,” said the Englishman. “Everyone is fit and healthy, and we are all in good condition. Obviously, I have lost my captain (Henrique Sereno) through suspension, but he is the only player missing from the squad. We lost our previous match, and I am looking forward to bouncing back in the game tomorrow.”
Regarding his opponents, Gregory remarked, “Delhi certainly played well when they came to Chennai a few weeks ago. The team is full of some very talented players. They have not done as well as they would have liked, but nevertheless they have some great players, and I expect them to try and win the match.”
The Lions come into the fixture after a long break and the Englishman opined, “They have had a long break, but it is not always beneficial at times. You see Bengaluru and they have been playing every three days, and it helps keep the momentum going. Sometimes it is better to play on a regular basis. In that respect, we have an extremely busy schedule coming up and we hope that we can get back to winning.”