Delhi Dynamos take on FC Pune City in a do or die game in the match 51 of Indian Super League here on Saturday at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune. With Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa already booking their Semi-final berths, the battle now revolves around Atletico de Kolkata, Pune City, Kerala Blasters and Delhi Dynamos for the remaining two slots.
Delhi Dynamos are couple of points behind fourth-placed Pune City and Kerala Blasters. Delhi Dynamos will know anything except a win and their ISL campaign will be all but over. A win for Delhi will take them into the top four but a draw will make their task much more difficult and a loss will knock them out of the running completely. A draw would not alter the scenario for Pune City but it would leave Delhi with the slimmest of hopes for qualification and hope Pune and Kerala Blasters draw their final fixture while they go onto defeat Chennaiyin FC.
FC Pune City:
Pune City have a chance to knock Delhi Dynamos out of contention for the semifinals although their own hopes would still rest on their final game against Kerala Blasters.
Pune would once again bank on their star Greek International Kostas Katsouranis and Nigerian striker Dudu Omagbemi to create chances. Katsouranis has been the most influential midfielder for the hosts with his performances and has featured in every game for Pune and also provided both the assists for Dudu’s goals against Mumbai taking his tally to two assists to go along with the four goals he has scored. Dudu’s performance in the previous outing will have surely given his confidence a much-needed boost. With two goals coming on the back of a five goalless games his performances have kept David Trezeguet out of the starting lineup.
The defence will once again rely on the quick feet of Italian defender Bruno Cirillo and Dharmaraj Ravanan. Ravanan was slotted into central defence when Daniele Magliochetti got injured and has grown into his role as a centre back in the competition. Lenny Rodrigues has looked more solid in his defensive midfielder’s role with every passing game and has become an integral part of the Pune side.
FC Pune City Possible Starting Eleven:
Arindam ; Mehrajuddin Wadoo , Bruno Cirillo , Dharmaraj Ravanan , Park Kwang-il , Lenny Rodrigues , Krisztian Vadocz , Kostas Katsouranis , Israil Gurung , Joaquim Abranches , Dudu Omagbemi
Delhi Dynamos have picked up seven points from a possible nine in their last three games after thrashing Mumbai FC and getting the better of NorthEast United and will hope to continue their form to cause problems for Pune City.
Danish striker Mads Junker and Dutch mid-fielder Hans Mulder will be the key players for the Delhi side again. The Danish forward has scored three goals in twelve appearances but Junker would no doubt have hoped to hit the back of the net more often. Junker will hope to deliver when his team need it most as Delhi head into this exciting clash on the back of some positive performances. Dos Santos has been a revelation for Delhi Dynamos in the ISL and has helped himself to four goals along with two assists for his team. It will also be interesting to watch if Delhi’s marquee player Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero features in the starting line-up or not. Defender Anwar Ali has looked good in defence for Delhi and has appeared in all of their twelve games being a crucial part of a defence which has conceded just two goals in the past three games.
Delhi Dynamos Possible Starting Eleven:
Van Hout ; Stijn Houben , Anwar Ali , Shouvik Ghosh , Adil Khan , Shylo Malsawmtluanga , Henrique Dinis , Hans Mulder , Francis Fernandes , Mads Junker , Dos Santos
FC Pune City assistant coach Giovanni Mei:
“It absolutely is necessary to get three points tomorrow. For Pune City three points will be good and with these three points we’ll be in an easy position. We’ll definitely see a good game though because Delhi will need the three points so it’s very important for them too. We will be trying for the victory so it will definitely be a good game.”
“We always try to face our opponents in the same way. This league is very difficult and competitive because all the teams are strong. And if you remember if we had beaten Chennai we could have gone first. Positions have fluctuated a lot but the important thing is everyone’s putting in a lot of hard work for the results and we’ve never given up even when we were down below and we’ve always given our best.”
Delhi Dynamos manager Harm Van Veldhoven:
“There are only two games to go and everybody’s making a lot of speculations of course. We know that with one point anything is possible but we have come to play football and let us hope we can take all the points. The difference is not so much and in football you have to take your chances. Let’s hope the best for us and a very good game for everybody.”
“Pune is in good shape and we too have in the last three games and taken seven points and are ready to go for it. We’re just going to play and see what we can do. We’re going for three points but it’s possible that we have to be satisfied with a point. We try playing the ball on the ground but have not always had results. I got to see a lot of good Indian players and saw them grow in the competition.”
Recent Form (Most Recent First):
FC Pune City : WDLLD
Delhi Dynamos: DWWLL
FC Pune City 1 – 1 Delhi Dynamos
INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE POINTS TABLE:
Pictures Courtesy: Indian Super League