Delhi Dynamos FC and Chennaiyin FC will be keen to put their struggles behind them and secure the first win when they face off in this edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) on Tuesday.
The hosts come into this game on the back of a gritty and a hard fought 1-1 draw against the in-form Kerala Blasters in Kochi. Striker Andrija Kaluderovic was on target for the first time this season as Dynamos came from a goal down to find the equaliser in the dying moments of the game.
Even in the opening game against FC Pune City, Dynamos dropped points at the fag end and coach Josep Gombau will feel they needed much more than two points from their three games.
“We are a new team. We are trying to play a new style of football. This is something that cannot happen in one day. I think we deserve more than the two points we have because, in all the three games, we had chances to win the game,” said Gombau.
While Lallianzuala Chhangte and Romeo Fernandes have shown glimpses of their quality, lack of composure in front of goal is telling.
Delhi’s profligacy has seen them score only three goals despite fashioning countless opportunities.
“The important thing is that we are playing good football. We are creating chances and when we convert them, we will win matches. I hope that we win,” he said.
Delhi will miss the services of influential midfielder Marcos Tebar, who is nursing a hamstring injury.
Chennaiyin FC look a shadow of the side which won the title in March this year.
In the absence of the injured Dhanpal Ganesh, none of their midfielders, including the likes of Anirudh Thapa and Germanpreet Singh, has been able to take control.
“You can always look at the reason why we have not started so well. But the effort that the boys have put in for all three matches is incredible,” said Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory.
“I certainly have no problems with the way that they have approached the games. It is just that we have made a couple of defensive mistakes. Big mistakes, which we rarely made last season in the 18 regular season matches.”
Chennaiyin FC is the only team to have lost all their three matches and coach Gregory will need to inspire his side to make a mark soon or risk being left out of the race early in the competition.
Just like the first three matches, it wouldn’t be any easy against Delhi Dynamos.
“We obviously know that we are playing against Delhi. They have a couple of our old players (Rene Mihelic and Bikramjit Singh) from last season who have both won gold medals (from last season). We are expecting a tough game,” the Englishman said.