Delhi seek to revive faltering season with win against Jamshedpur

Delhi Dynamos FC will be desperately looking for their first win of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 when they host Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. Delhi have only been able to register three draws and three losses in their first six matches of this season and will need to turn things around quickly if they want to mount a serious challenge for a spot in the playoffs.

The Lions, however, will have a tough hurdle to cross in shape of Jamshedpur, who are still undefeated this season. The Miners will also be full of confidence going into the match after their impressive 4-1 victory over an in-form FC Goa side in their last Hero ISL outing. Delhi's record against Jamshedpur will also be a concern for Josep Gombau's men, considering the Lions lost both their matches against Jamshedpur last season.

Delhi Dynamos FC

Delhi are experiencing of their worst start to a season with no victories in their opening six matches of the campaign. The biggest concern for the Lions this season has been their ineffectiveness in front of goal, with the attackers failing to put away their chances. The team has only been able to find the back of the net thrice and have been wasteful in the final third. What's worse, the team has failed to score a single goal in their last three fixtures.

Delhi's attacking players have had little to offer so far and only one of their three goals this season has been scored by a forward (Andrija Kaludjerovic against Kerala Blasters FC), while the remaining two came from defenders. Adding to head coach Gombau's woes will be Delhi's terrible home form, which has seen them go winless in their last five Hero ISL fixtures at their home ground. Delhi fans were hoping Marcos Tebar's return to the squad would provide the team the inspiration they needed to turn things around in their last outing against NorthEast United FC, but even the enigmatic Spaniard was unable to stop his team from slumping to a 2-0 loss.

Delhi's defence, too, have had their fair share of problems this season, letting in soft goals. The team has only managed to keep one clean sheet this season against Chennaiyin FC, but it was largely due to the heroics of goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro, rather than a solid display by the back four. Gombau has his work cut out for him if he is to engineer a dramatic revival and it will be interesting to see if he decides to change his system against Jamshedpur. The Spaniard may be tempted to start with both Tebar and Rene Mihelic to add some much-needed creativity in the middle of the park in order to carve out more chances.

Here’s a look at Delhi’s current season in numbers:

Jamshedpur FC

Jamshedpur's 4-1 win over a high-flying Goa team in their last outing was the team's second victory of the season. The Miners started their campaign with an away victory over Mumbai City FC, but their inability to finish off games forced them to settle for draws in their next four matches. Jamshedpur head coach Cesar Ferrando decided to make some big changes against Goa and the reshuffle paid off as the team registered their biggest victory ever in the Hero ISL. Ferrando dropped the likes of Tim Cahill from the starting XI and decided to go with Gourav Mukhi up front, who was later replaced by Sumeet Passi. The Spaniard also sacrificed his traditional possession-based style in favour of a high-pressing strategy against Goa, using the tireless running ability of Mukhi, Sergio Cidoncha, Pablo Morgado and Michael Soosairaj to put pressure on the Goa defence and forced them into making mistakes, which eventually led to the goals.

After tinkering with his starting line-up in the first five matches, Ferrando seems to have finally found the right combination and may be expected to start with the same team against Delhi, with Cahill expected to play the role of an impact sub. One player to look out for, in the Jamshedpur team, will be Soosairaj, who has been in terrific form lately bagging three goals in his last two games. He has been a constant threat down the left, running at defenders with pace before either cutting in to shoot or going wide to whip dangerous balls in for the strikers to attack. The 24-year-old is already the second-highest goal scorer in Jamshedpur's history and a successful strike against Delhi will see him equal Trindade Goncalves' tally of four from last season. With their confidence levels high and the opponents struggling to find a foothold this season, Ferrando and Co. will be gunning for all three points from the match.

Here’s a look at Jamshedpur’s current season in numbers:

PROBABLE LINE-UPS:

Delhi Dynamos FC: Francisco Dorronsoro (GK), Rana Gharami, Marti Crespi, Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal (C), Marcos Tebar, Rene Mihelic, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Shubham Sarangi, Nandhakumar Sekar, Andrija Kaludjerovic

Jamshedpur FC: Subrata Paul (GK), Tiri (C), Pratik Chowdhary, Bikash Jairu, Robin Gurung, Mario Arques, Pablo Morgado, Sergio Cidoncha, Memo, Michael Soosairaj, Gourav Mukhi

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Delhi are winless in their last five matches at home.
  • Jamshedpur’s win over Goa in their last match was their biggest victory in Hero ISL.
  • Michael Soosairaj has as many goals (3) this season as the entire Delhi team.

FANSPEAK

Which coach will come out on top on Sunday?

  • Josep Gombau
  • Cesar Ferrando

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