ISL: Delhi Dynamos FC vs Atletico de Kolkata - What we can expect - Preview and Prediction
Football returns to the capital in quick succession as the Delhi Dynamos host Atletico De Kolkata for their last home game of the inaugural season of the ISL in what promises to be an exhilarating encounter. Harm van Veldhoven’s side have climbed up the table with consecutive wins and three in a row would pull the home side further up to fourth place in the table while the visitors, who came off a 1-1 draw in Pune, will reach 2nd place with a win. With 20 points for them, a top 4 will finish will be all but confirmed.
Venue and Kick-Off
Delhi’s Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium will host this game. The average attendance has been around the 15000 mark and one could maybe see an improvement in this game, with it possibly being the last match in Delhi.
Kick-Off - 7pm (Tuesday)
Probable line-Ups and Team News
Delhi Dynamos’ have benefited greatly in the absence of Del Piero with Dos Santos filling in for him, and this will be the strongest test of the 20-year-old’s consistency till now. Manish Bhargav might be involved again, having become the first Indian player to score for Delhi Dynamos in the league after he came on from the bench against Mumbai City. Francis’s stint as the central striker is working well for the home side with his speedy runs pushing back defence lines and this trend looks to continue in today’s game. Hans Mulder looks set to continue as captain in what has been a purple patch for him with his usual domination in the midfield accompanied by goals in successive games.
Atletico de Kolkata have looked below par in the last two games and a clear dip in performance levels would have baffled coach Habas who must get his team right for this fixture. Masih might be shifted to the bench with Ofentse Nato coming back into the team which will be a much needed boost for the visitors. Subhashish Roy Choudhary might be picked to keep up with the 5 Indians in the starting XI rule.
Form Guide (Last 5)
Delhi Dynamos: WWLLD
Atletico De Kolkata: DLWDL
Important Stats and Facts
This is Delhi Dynamos’ last home game and they have won, drawn and lost 2 games each out of their previous 6. The visitors, on the other hand, are playing their 6th away game and have only lost once on their travels, against Kerala Blasters, on 21st November.
Delhi Dynamos will reach 16 points if they win this, and overtake Kerala Blasters for the elusive fourth place in the table in a close-knit league.
Atletico De Kolkata have only won one game of their last 7 and still remain in 2nd place.
The North Indian outfit’s first goal in the league was scored in the first leg of this fixture when Pavel Elias slammed in a picturesque half-volley to equalize in a game which ended 1-1.
Mulder vs Nato
Two midfielders out of the top drawer of this league will go head-to-head in this one. Hans Mulder will have to use his rich vein of form to get the better of Nato. The man from Botswana will have to be at his absolute best as his coaches will be watching him from Atletico de Kolkata’s parent club in Madrid since his career lies in Spain after this venture.
Fikru vs Anwar Ali
The amount of space allowed to the Ethiopian striker from the midfield and the shape of the home team’s defence, will be the key factors in deciding the winner of this battle. The Punjabi defender has shown a lot of composure on the ball and was complimented by Hans Mulder in the press meet ahead of the big clash.
Harm van Veldhoven and his players know that this is pretty much like a cup final for them while the visitors will still be in a decent position to qualify for the semis even after losing. A 3-2 home win and an end-to-end encounter looks likely on a night of attacking football.