Bruised and battered Delhi host floundering NorthEast looking to make most of home comforts
Written by: Debajit Sarma
Both teams are in need of the points and confidence after thumping defeats in their respective last outings.
After two away games the Dynamos return to the comforts of their home ground as they seek to get their season back on track after the thumping 1-4 loss away to Bengaluru FC in their last game. The Delhi side, currently 5th on the table would look to start their run of three consecutive home games with maximum points against their beleaguered opponents from the Northeast and keep pace with the playoff places.
However, they need to sort out their defensive frailties, which were exposed quite vividly by the free-flowing attacking game of BFC. The Lions have now conceded six goals in their two games and have the worst goals conceded per game average in the league.
On the other hand, NorthEast United make the trip to the capital, sitting at the bottom of the table and despite tall claims made by their coach Joao Carlos Pires de Deus, saying that his team would have the tournament’s top scorer, the Highlanders are yet to score a single goal. The promise that the team showed in their opening encounter against Jamshedpur FC proved to be a false dawn, as the Highlanders were comfortably outplayed in a 0-3 defeat away to Chennaiyin FC.
Coach De Deus would pray his forwards rediscover their composure in front of goal and his team secure a positive result on Saturday, before a seemingly tough game against table-toppers Bengaluru FC at home.
With no injury concerns, the home team coach Miguel Angel Portugal is expected to persist with the same line-up that took the field against Bengaluru FC. For the visitors, midfield general Rowlin Borges is expected to be back after sitting out of the first two games with an injury. Cape-Verdean Odiar Fortes picked up an injury in the last game and had to be hauled off before halftime, so in all likelihood, Holicharan Narzary would come in at right wing and Lalrindika Ralte would fill in at the left
Delhi Dynamos have a slight edge over NorthEast United in their six meetings in the league’s history so far, winning two while the Highlanders have won just once. The other three being draws. Interestingly, all the three draws have come in Delhi.
Man To Watch
Marcinho-NorthEast United FC: The attacking midfielder was in good nick against Jamshedpur and looked to be the only player who could have posed any threat to Chennaiyin’s defence. He links up well with the forwards and can also slip in incisive passes for them to finish off. The team would look up to the man from Brazil to profit against a leaky Delhi defence and end their wait for the elusive first goal
Vinit Rai-Delhi Dynamos: The youngster would be looking forward to this game against the team based in his home state of Assam. The promising central midfielder was one of the better players for the Lions in the hammering against Bengaluru. Despite Bengaluru dominating the game in the middle of the park, Rai did his best to reclaim it back and was seen clearing many of the Blues' attacks.
Did You Know?
- NorthEast United FC has scored 6 times against Delhi Dynamos, with Seityasen Singh the top scorer with two goals, Interestingly he is a part of the Lions set-up this season after getting picked in the draft.
- The rivalry between the two sides on the pitch has been a volatile one, with 33 yellow cards and 2 red cards brandished in the 6 meetings between the two teams.
- Delhi Dynamos were the most prolific team in ISL 2016, scoring 29 goals overall, with ATK and Chennaiyin a distant second with 20.
The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2 and Stars Sports 2 HD 7.45 pm onwards. It will be also available for live streaming on Hotstar and Jio TV.
Published: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:05 PM IST