Sinking Pune host high flying Delhi Dynamos
The hosts have struggled to get in line with Antonio Habas’ vision…
FC Pune City play Delhi Dynamos at home in the Indian Super League on Friday.
The hosts have struggled for any sort of consistency this season and look to have too big a task ahead to qualify for the playoffs. The Stallions seemed to have gotten their season back on track with consecutive victories against Atletico De Kolkata and Mumbai City FC but another defeat to Chennaiyin has dashed hopes of a late surge up the table. They should, though, be eager to give their home supporters a good showing in their final home game.
That task, will not be a straightforward one, with their opponents Delhi Dynamos flying high so far this season. The visitors sit comfortably on top of the table, having scored 18 goals so far, 10 more than their opponents on Friday. Delhi have been the best side in the league this season, owing to an excellent combination at the top and a solid backline. They come into the game knowing that victory could all but secure their qualification into the playoffs.
The visitors could have more good news as Richard Gazde and Chinglensana Singh are hoped to be fit in time for the game. Delhi played their last game only 4 days ago, a tight but tiring 2-2 draw against Atletico De Kolkata, where players like Ruben Gonzalez and Marcos Tebar were left on the bench. They too are expected to get back in the starting XI. Badara Badji, on the other hand, will miss the game through suspension.
The home team on the other hand will be hoping Arata Izumi can slot back into the side, while Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who started on the bench is expected to get back into the team. Otherwise, there have been no new injuries for the squad and the starting XI is expected to be at full strength.
Head to Head
Delhi Dynamos hold complete advantage over Pune in the fixtures played to date. Pune have failed to win against Delhi in five attempts, a run which includes 3 losses too. Earlier in the season, when these sides faced off in Delhi, the home team had dominated proceedings but failed to capitalise, with FC Pune City snatching a 1-1 draw that night.
Man to Watch
FC Pune City-Eugeneson Lyngdoh: Everyone has been talking about the impact that the returning Bengaluru FC players have had on the ISL. Whether it is quality or freshness, they have certainly had a positive impact on their respective teams’ fortunes. Eugeneson Lyngdoh for FC Pune City has been the same. The midfielder has come into the side and his energy and quality on the ball has been there for all to see. The 28-year-old scored the winner in the Maha Derby against Mumbai too and he could have a similarly crucial impact against Delhi.
Delhi Dynamos-Florent Malouda: Delhi’s marquee signing will be an obvious threat for the visitors coming into the game and his recent form will only put Pune under further alarms. The former French international has contributed three goals and three assists this season and his cool finish against Atletico De Kolkata in his team’s last game only typifies the form that he is in. The 36-year-old might just turn out to be the star man once again in Pune on Friday night.
FC Pune City(4-1-3-2): Edel, Bheke, Ferreira, Gourmangi, Das, Sissoko, Lyngdoh, Pradhan, Tato, Traore, Zurdo
Delhi Dynamos (4-1-4-1): Doblas, Lalchhawnkima, Anas, Rocha, Chakraborty, Tebar, Marcelinho, Singh, Malouda, Lewis, Gadze
The match will be teleacast live on Star Sports 2, HD2, Star Sports 1, HD1, Star Gold, Star Gold HD, Jalsha Movies, Jalsha Movies HD and Hotstar. You can also follow Live text commentary of the game on Khelnow.com.
Photo © ISL Media
Preview by Khel Now- correspondent Miqdad. Miqdad is a Liberal Arts student from Pune. A Liverpool fan he's probably busy watching a sport or writing. You can follow him on Twitter.
Published: Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:53 AM IST