Delhi Dynamos FC, Mumbai City FC battle to keep hopes alive
A resurgent Delhi Dynamos FC will take on a nervy Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, on Friday in a critical battle for survival. Both sides need a win to keep their qualification hopes alive and will go all out to make that possible.
The sixth placed visitors snatched a 1-0 win in the first leg meeting and the seventh placed hosts will look to overturn that verdict. Harm Van Veldhoven’s side will draw confidence from their counter-attacking win over NorthEast United FC in their previous encounter. The will also enjoy a slight edge because of the home advantage.
Despite their poor position on the league table, Delhi have scored more goals than Mumbai (9-8). They are also the more attacking of the two sides, having taken more shots (125-123) and put in more crosses (175-146). Mumbai however have more shots on target (65-57) and will hope that their shooting accuracy sees them through. From a defensive point of view, Subrata Paul has kept six clean sheets while his Delhi counterpart Kristof Van Hout has just three.
Form Guide (most recent matches first)
Delhi Dynamos FC– WLLDL
Mumbai City FC– LDDDW
India’s No 1 glovesman has been in good form in the tournament, having kept six clean sheets so far. His acrobatic saves, reading of the game, positioning and speed make him an excellent shot-stopper. He will be up against young Gustavo dos Santos who has made a splash in the league with his fancy footwork. Having scored in the previous match, the Brazilian will look to continue his good form and guide his team to victory.
Anwar Ali vs Singam Subhash Singh
Defender Anwar Ali’s performances in the tournament have been getting progressively better with each match. The strong centre-back is adept at breaking up plays and will use these skills to keep the Mumbai attack at bay. In the absence of injured Nicolas Anelka, Ali can come up against nippy striker Subhash Singh who has a goal and an assist to his credit. The Manipuri player also operates on the wings and his speed will stretch the Delhi defence to the utmost.
Bruno Arias vs Jan Štohanzl
The skilful Spanish central midfielder will hope to spark up the game with his passes and playmaking abilities by creating some goal scoring opportunities for his forwards. The former Sevilla man already has a goal and an assist to his credit and will hope to do more for his side on his home ground. He will be up against the Czech Republic midfielder who has had several impressive outings with his hard running and high work rate. Štohanzl will have the double task of breaking up the Delhi attacks as well as keeping his own attack ticking.
Players to watch
Delhi Dynamos FC
Hans Mulder – Having scored in the previous game, the midfielder will be raring to go against Mumbai. His control and passing of the ball is excellent and Mulder will use these qualities to help his team go forward in the competition.
Mumbai City FC
Fredrik Ljungberg – The fully fit Swedish marquee player is expected to start for the visiting side and in the absence of injured striker Anelka and playmaker André Moritz, he will have to bring both his star power and his top game to the park to revive Mumbai’s fading hopes.