The hosts are certain to look for nothing less than a win considering the Dynamos’ performance this season.
Jamshedpur FCare enjoying a decent debut season in the Hero Indian Super League. Having notched up 13 points from their 10 games, Steve Coppell’s men are currently in the seventh position on the points table and have a chance to go within touching distance of the top four places when they square up against Delhi Dynamos at JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur, on Sunday.
Jamshedpur FC came on top when the two sides met in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. Izu Azuka’s strike proved enough to hand the visitors all three points. But repeating the result will not be easy against a resurgent Delhi team, who upset table toppers Bengaluru FC in their previous match.
“In football they say you are only good as your last game, and they beat Bengaluru FC. They like to go forward and that has sometimes left them vulnerable at the back. But I’m a big admirer of the way they play. So it’s a big challenge to stop them and hit them on the counter,” Coppell told reporters at the pre-match press conference.
The home side are fresh off a win against Kerala Blasters at home and will be looking to keep the good run going. Coppell hinted his team will try to play a counter-attacking style of football.
“We are playing against a Delhi team which is very pleasing on the eye going forward. They are some very quick players going forward. But we’ll try to hit them on the counter,” he said.
Jamshedpur FC also have some injury worries ahead of the game. Brazilian midfielder Trinadade Goncalves may again miss out after suffering a foot injury. “Trinadade has foot problem. He got kicked on the foot in Goa. He is probably touch and go for tomorrow’s game as well. But that I’ll decide tomorrow. Mehtab Hossain is fit,” he added.
Lillianzula Chhangte has been spectacular in Delhi’s last few games, and the young man from Mizoram will be expected to put up another good show against Jamshedpur. But even more importantly, the win against Bengaluru has given Delhi the much-needed confidence, and their coach Miguel Angel Portugal couldn’t have asked for more from his team at this stage of the ISL.
“When you win it’s the best confidence booster and for me it’s the best training,” he said.
Talking about the opponents, Portugal added, “I like their last match against Kerala. They played well. It’s definitely a good team. They have a good back four and a good striker. They also have two very fast wingers.”
HEAD TO HEAD
Jamshedpur FC 1 – 0 Delhi Dynamos FC
Lallianzuala Chhangte (Delhi Dynamos FC)
A revelation in the league so far, Lallianzuala Chhangte has shouldered almost the entire burden of the Delhi attacking line. A quick player with silky skills and a good dribbler as well, the 20-year-old has bagged two goals and an assist this season. A player who keeps the defenders on their toes with his intelligent runs, the Mizoram-born player also has a knack for picking out incisive passes. He will be a key player in the fixture against a defensively strong Jamshedpur.
Izu Azuka (Jamshedpur FC)
The Nigerian has been the most prolific player in front of goal for Jamshedpur, having netted three times this season. A strong player who also possesses good pace, Azuka is someone who bullies defenders and finds an opening in abundance. He is also good at holding up the ball and will need to be at his best when Delhi come calling.
POTENTIAL STARTING LINEUPS
Steve Coppell may use a 4-2-3-1 formation that would provide versatility in the middle and on the flanks.
Goalkeeper: Subrata Paul
Forward: Izu Azuka
Jamshedpur head coach Steve Coppell on scoring and other priorities: “In the course of a normal season, you will get phases where your defence is strong, and generally when you start to score, you think that you can now score more freely. There is no rhyme or reason to it – it is just a factor of the opposition you are playing and their strengths and weaknesses. We go out every game, determined to get a clean sheet – that is our number one priority.”
Delhi Dynamos FC
Miguel Portugal may stick to his own 4-2-3-1 formation as Delhi look to be more clinical in the final third in search of consecutive wins.
Goalkeeper: Arnab Das Sharma
Forward: Guyon Fernandez
Delhi head coach Miguel Portugal on the team’s current mentality: “Getting a win is the best thing for confidence. Everyone is in a good mood, and I think we have had the best training session. The team now has confidence, and I wait for tomorrow, where hopefully we will play a good match, and if possible, win against Jamshedpur.”
- Jamshedpur’s first ever league victory came against Delhi
Delhi Dynamos FC 0 – 1 Jamshedpur FC (6th December 2017 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi)
FORM GUIDE (Last five matches)
Jamshedpur FC: W L D L W
Delhi Dynamos FC: W L D L L