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Indian Super League 2018‑19 Preview No 4: Delhi Dynamos FC

The Delhi Dynamo squad for the camera during their preseason tour. Photo Courtesy: @DelhiDynamos/Twitter
The Delhi Dynamo squad for the camera during their preseason tour.
Photo Courtesy: @DelhiDynamos/Twitter

With new faces in the Delhi Dynamos camp, the team would be aiming to do better than their eighth-place finish in the last Indian Super League season.

Background

It has been another summer of change at Delhi Dynamos. A fourth manager in as many campaigns and the clearing of nearly the whole coaching department. They did retain eight players from the previous season, but lost the key figures of Manuel Arana and Kalu Uche.

Delhi Dynamos scored 27 goals in the 2017/18 season, more than what champions Chennaiyin FC managed in the league stage. However, they also conceded a whopping 37 goals in 18 games.

To lead the attack, the Delhi team will rely on Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Andrija Kaluderovic. However, without any big signings among the forwards, it is an indication that the midfield will play a key role on the attacking front. Youngsters Vinit Rai, Lallianzuala Chhangte, and S Nandhakumar could come into the plans of Josep Gombau.

To shore up the backline, foreign signings Marti Crespi Pascual and Gianni Zuiverloon may form the center-back pairing, while Narayan Das and Pritam Kotal would complete the back four.

The Gaffer

Josep Gombau aims to win the Indian Super League (ISL) by playing an entertaining brand of football. The Spaniard coach feels it is essential that clubs adopt an eye-pleasing style of play so as to bring more supporters into the stadium and help football in India grow.

“The aim of every single coach is to win the league. We try and after that, you don’t have any control over what happens. The team might start with certain difficulties but with some good results, things will be positive. I am very happy with the squad that I have. I am confident, but the league will be very competitive and we will try to win.

Players to watch


Marcos Tebar
: The return of Tebar is perhaps the standout addition for Delhi for this season. The midfielder was a key member of the team which reached the semi-finals in 2015. He spent the previous season at FC Pune City, where he scored on his debut for Pune against, you guessed it, Delhi.

Rene Mihelic: The Slovenian playmaker had an impressive run role in the title-winning campaign of Chennaiyin FC. He notched up two goals and four assists in his 14 appearances with the club. His biggest asset is his ability to deliver from dead-ball situations.

Fixtures watch

Delhi Dynamos start their campaign at home against Pune City on Oct.3. After a two-week break, they have a congested 14 days as they play 5 matches in the space of 14 days.

ATK (H) on Oct. 17, Kerala (A) on Oct. 20, Chennaiyin (H) on Oct. 23, Mumbai (A) on Oct.27, and NorthEast United (H) on Oct. 30.

The next couple of fixtures include a home match against Jamshedpur on Nov. 4 and an away tie at Goa on Nov. 8. After a break of 18 days, they travel to Bengaluru on Nov. 26.

The reverse fixtures begin with a home match against Mumbai on Dec. 3, Jamshedpur (A) on Dec. 12, and Chennaiyin (A) on Dec. 15.

Conclusion

Last season the Delhi Dynamos management had replaced their entire squad, which led to their worst ever finish in the ISL. This time around they have tried to bring back some of those players while retaining most of those who made the squad last season.

The biggest challenge will be to gel the team together and produce results. The supporters have has been encouraged by the club to make their voice heard and DD management has taken the step forward by slashing its cheapest ticket to Rs 49.

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