Top spot beckons Delhi against Mumbai
Delhi Dynamos FC face Mumbai City FC on Matchday 31 of the 2015 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Friday. The Lions will be looking for a win after a 1-1 draw with NorthEast United FC in their last home outing. Mumbai, meanwhile, will be aiming at bouncing back with a win after a heavy 4-1 defeat at the hands of reigning champions Atlético de Kolkata in their last match. Delhi will be looking to go top of the table with a victory or even with a draw, while Mumbai will join Delhi on 13 points if they win on Friday.
Delhi Dynamos FC so far: L-W-W-W-L-W-D
Mumbai City FC so far: L-D-L-W-W-W-L
Head-to-Head: Mumbai City FC beat Delhi Dynamos FC 1-0 at home last season, while Delhi returned the favour in their own home fixture with a scoreline of 4-1. Their game earlier this season finished 2-0 in Mumbai City FC’s favour.
Having donned the role of centre-back for Delhi, John Arne Riise has done a stellar job in reinventing himself after playing as a marauding full-back for most of his career. The former Norwegian international has not offered opposition attackers an inch in the seven games so far and has made 56 clearances, second only to Anas Edathodika (57).
Sunil Chhetri has been in sparkling form for Mumbai City FC in his debut season in the Hero ISL. The Mumbai Express has already scored six goals and currently leads the Alto K-10 Golden Boot charts. India’s all-time leading goal-scorer possesses the ability to spot the key pass and could prove to be a nuisance to Delhi’s defence on Friday.
Florent Malouda vs Selim Benachour
The linchpin of Delhi’s attack, Florent Malouda has provided the assist for four out of Delhi’s six goals in Hero ISL 2015. Constantly involved in attack for the Lions, Malouda is not shy to make a tackle or two either. The former French international has made 18 tackles for his side so far and completed 299 passes – the most by any Delhi player.
Selim Benachour’s influence in the Mumbai side seems to be increasing with every passing game. After coming on at half-time in Mumbai’s last match with his side trailing 2-0, the Tunisian midfielder completely changed the dynamics of the match by pulling the strings from midfield. His goal helped claw Mumbai back into the game after a lacklustre first period. Benachour can be expected to have a telling say in the eventual outcome of Friday’s match.
Richard Gadze vs Darren O’Dea
Darren O’Dea seems to have made the centre-back position his own for Mumbai City FC this season. The 28-year-old’s enthusiasm for the game has seen him complete 25 clearances from the back thus far. More than capable on the ball, O’Dea ability to pick out a pass from the back fits into Mumbai City’s philosophy under marquee player-cum-coach Nicolas Anelka.
Delhi Dynamos FC’s most potent threat in attack, Gadze has been an absolute game-changer for the Lions this year. Gadze’s blistering pace has rendered opposition defenders helpless. His tally of three goals so far amount to half of the total goals scored by his side. A threat from set-pieces, the Ghanaian also offers the Lions a powerful and dominating presence in the opposition penalty box.
Both sides will be hoping to get back to winning ways after coming up short in their previous match. The Dynamos will be looking to make the best of their home field advantage and prevent Mumbai from joining them on 13 points. The visitors, however, will be in a buoyant mood as they look to undo a disappointing loss at home against ATK. Key individual from both teams like Robin Singh, Gustavo dos Santos, Hans Mulder, Sony Norde, Frederic Piquionne, Singam Subash and Juan Aguilera will look to take the game by the scruff of the neck in a bid for maximum points.
It’s [Mumbai] a good team. But our goal is to go ahead of Pune. It’s very important for us to win tomorrow so that we can top the table. But Mumbai is a great team: Delhi Dynamos FC marquee player-cum-coach Roberto Carlos
Tomorrow is a very big game for us. First second leg [Mumbai beat Delhi 2-0 last month]. We want to find the best combination. We have never won an away game. We want to take the three points. We have nothing else in our mind. Tomorrow’s game is very important: Mumbai City FC assistant coach Oscar Bruzon
Delhi Dynamos FC: Antonio Doblas Santana, Sanjiban Ghosh, Ishan Debnath, Thokchom Naoba Singh, Prabir Das, Roberto Carlos [marquee], John Arne Riise, Robert Lalthlamuana, Anas Edathodika, Anwar Ali, Anderson Sebastiao Cardoso [Chicao], Shylo Malsawmtluanga [Mama]. Sehnaj Singh, Souvik Chakrabarti, Hans Mulder, Serginho Greene, Zodingliana Tochhawng, Gunasekhar Vignesh, Florent Malouda, Gustavo dos Santos Marmentini, Seminlen Doungel, Robin Singh, Richard Gadze, Adil Nabi, Vinicius Ferreira de Souza.
Mumbai City FC: Subrata Paul, Albino Gomes, Debjit Majumder, Kinshuk Debnath, Darren O’Dea, Pavel Čmovš, Keegan Pereira, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai (Chhuantea), Frantz Bertin, Rowilson Rodrigues, Airtor Fernandez Lopez, Gabriel Fernandes, Juan Aguilera Nunez, Brandon Fernandes, André Francisco Moritz, Selim Benachour, Cristian Bustos, Sarang Singh, Pratesh Shirodkar, Sampath Kumar Kuttymani, Ashutosh Mehta, Singam Subash Singh, Nicolas Anelka (Marquee & Manager), Sony Norde, Sunil Chhetri, Frederic Piquionne.