Mumbai geared up to stop Dynamos

Mumbai City FC – hurting from a home loss against Chennaiyin FC, mainly due to defensive lapses – have a tough match ahead when they take on Delhi Dynamos, who are armed with some of the sharpest strikers in this season’s ISL.

Robin Singh has been in fine form for Delhi.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Mumbai City FC – hurting from a home loss against Chennaiyin FC, mainly due to defensive lapses – have a tough match ahead when they take on Delhi Dynamos, who are armed with some of the sharpest strikers in this season’s ISL. Richard Gadze, Dynamos’ super-sub, has been revelation and he has been well supported by Gustavo Dos Santos and former Chelsea star Florent Malouda.

Mumbai City have failed to implement player-manger Nicolas Anelka’s plan of possession-based football, where an assertive midfield need to dictate the flow of play. Three matches into the tournament, his squad is still in the process of settling down. The Frenchman is confined to the dugout due to a groin injury and Brazilian playmaker Andre Moritz has also left.

Oscar Bruzon, the home team’s assistant coach, admitted that his midfield is still a work in progress. “We are still trying to find our best midfield combination. We are using a new one that all of us think can be the best. We will try to control the game in the midfield. Modifications may be needed.”

For the attacking role, Anelka has a wealth of talent — Indian and foreign — to choose from. Selim Benachour, Gabriel Fernandes, Juan Nunez, Ashutosh Mehta to make plays, Sunil Chetri, Sony Norde, Frederik Piquione and Subhash Singh to get the goals. But team has shown a tendency to panic when it loses possession.

Delhi, on the other hand, are bubbling with confidence, following two away wins over FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters. Dos Santos and Malouda have been excellent, creating their own path to set up goals or to score. Robin Singh is always on the prowl in the goalmouth, gelling with the foreign names in the squad.

Raman Vijayan, assistant to head coach Roberto Carlos, touched on the mood within. “We came back positively (after first game loss to FC Goa) and won three in a row. Now we have got a great level of confidence and understanding in the team. It is important for every team to get three points in away games.”

Mumbai City will need to go all out in their home match at the D. Y. Patil stadium to stop the Delhi juggernaut. “Mumbai is a side with great attacking options like Sunil (Chetri), Sony (Norde), (Nicolas) Anelka. They didn't win last three matches, but have the calibre to handle any kind of situation. We have respect for every team in the ISL,” Raman said.