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ISL Media

Delhi Dynamos host ATK in battle of pride following disappointing campaigns

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The Lions will lok for another big prey after having beaten Bengaluru and drawn with Chennaiyin in their last two home games

Delhi Dynamos were struggling at the bottom of the table until the last game when a draw against FC Goa helped them climb up the table, leaving NorthEast United FC below. The club has been making steady progress for the last couple of matches and will target full points against ATK at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, on Saturday.

“We played for a win against FC Goa (in the last game). As I’ve said all along, we want to finish this competition well, for us and for our (club) president. They understand the (low) position is not good for us. But they also understand that we can finish well and for that we must play for a win,” said Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Angel Portugal.

The Spanish coach struggled with his team at the start but has now managed to regain some confidence. They are now unbeaten in their last three matches, gaining five points from teams like Chennaiyin FC (1-1), NorthEast United FC (1-0) and FC Goa (1-1). They are placed ninth with 12 points from 15 matches and can climb above ATK, who are just above them with 13 points from 15 matches.

This has been an unusual season for ATK. The defending champions have never failed to qualify for the semi-finals and have won the league twice in the last three years. This time, however, ATK have struggled with interim chief coach Ashley Westwood, who replaced Teddy Sheringham, yet to win any of the last five matches he has been in charge.

In fact, since Westwood took charge, ATK have lost four of their five matches and the only point they got was a draw against Kerala Blasters.

“For us, we need to stop conceding. We are good attacking-wise. We have nothing to lose and we try and win games. So, we open ourselves a little bit but attack in a quick aggressive way,” said Westwood, after his team lost against Mumbai City FC 1-2 in the previous game.

Westwood will be desperate to stop the string of losses and pocket his first win in the Hero ISL. His team has been hampered by injuries to some foreign players but will feel confident they can get full points, just like they did in the home clash at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, with or without their goal-scorer Robbie Keane.


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Head-to-Head

Delhi Dynamos FC 1 – 2 ATK (4 Draws)

Key Players

Kalu Uche (Delhi DynamosFC)

The Nigerian has been a strong and effective player in the Lions’ attacking line. He has earned the reputation of being ever-opportunistic and bullies the opposition defence. A clinical finisher, Uche has eight goals as well as an assist to his name, and he will be looking to inspire his team to a win in front of their home crowd.

Bipin Singh (ATK)

The 22-year-old has been one of the few bright spots in the ATK attack. The talented midfielder has shown great promise, with his frequent bursts of pace and dribbling ability. A good passer and a useful set-piece taker, Bipin has two goals and an assist to his name this season. He will need to be at his best if ATK want to get a result from their visit to Delhi.

Probable Lineups

Delhi Dynamos

Miguel Portugal may use the 4-2-3-1 formation as Delhi look to be more clinical in the final third.

Goalkeeper: Arnab Das Sharma

Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Pratik Chowdhary, Gabriel Cichero, Munmun Lugun

Midfielders: Matias Mirabaje, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Manuel Arana, Paulinho Dias, Vinit Rai

Forward: Kalu Uche

ATK

Ashley Westwood will probably go with the 4-4-2 formation, allowing enough movement in the midfield to aid both attack and defence.

Goalkeeper:  Soram Poirei

Defenders:  Keegan Pereira, Jordi Montel, Ashutosh Mehta, Prabir Das

Midfielders: Bipin Singh, Conor Thomas, Ryan Taylor, Jayesh Rane

Forward:  Robbie Keane, Martin Paterson

Key Stats

  • Both teams have won the least number of matches this season (3).
  • ATK have scored the least number of goals so far (11).
  • The Lions have conceded the most number of goals so far (31).

Last Encounter

ATK 1 – 0 Delhi Dynamos FC (23rd December 2017 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata)

Form Guide (Last five matches)

Delhi Dynamos FC: D W D L L

ATK: L D L L L

Published: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:07 AM IST

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