ISL 2018: Delhi Dynamos looks to stem the tide against Jamshedpur FC

Delhi Dynamos, still looking for its first win of the season, will be up against an in-form and confident Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League on Sunday.

Delhi Dynamos players participate in a training session on the eve of their Indian Super League clash against Jamshedpur FC.   -  ISL MEDIA

It’s a new month, and a festive season. Delhi Dynamos would hope it heralds a change of fortunes after an indifferent start to its Indian Super League campaign this season. Trying to inflict the third loss for the home side at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here will be Jamshedpur FC, a side brimming with confidence following a rampaging 4-1 victory over FC Goa on Thursday.

Delhi Dynamos’ achilles heel so far has been its lacklustre finishing. Despite stringing together 87 crosses, the highest among all clubs, and 2540 passes, the second highest — after Jamshedpur — the side has been only scored a meagre three goals. It makes for a poor goal conversion rate of 4.83 percent.

Moreover, defensive lapses have been costly. Four out of eight goals the side conceded came in the last 10 minutes of contests. The last contest against NorthEast United – a 2-0 defeat – was especially hard to take for the side as the goals came in the 82nd and the 90th minutes.

Despite its string of unfavourable outcomes — consigning it to the eighth spot in the points table — coach Josep Gombau has expressed optimism. He has rued the poor finishing, but credited his wards for their adherence to “progressive football.”

At the press conference on Saturday, he said, “As long as the numbers are there, we’ll fight to make it to the top four. We will have to try different combinations. It’s not so far-fetched, we’re just six points away, which is two games. We need to work hard to make it.”

The upcoming fixture will be Delhi Dynamos' sixth in 19 days and the club will keen on keeping its players fit and prevent fatigue.

It has been hectic for Jamshedpur, too; the club will play its fifth match in 15 days. Unlike Dynamos, though, this period has been fairly successful.

However, Cesar Ferrando, the coach, confessed he will rotate the players. “We make changes because I need all my players motivated. I like all my players motivated and when I count on a player to play, he is ready to play. I need to keep up the level of the team when we play four matches in a row. This is like tossing a coin, sometimes good and sometimes bad,” he said.

On paper, his team holds the advantage. Besides the favourable overall head-to-head record, it has been the better side this season when judged by the parameters of shots on target, the pass completion rate, touches, assists, and most importantly, goals scored.

It has 26 shots on target, while Dynamos has 17. The difference between the conversion rates is further stark — 16.66 (Jamshedpur) and 4.83 (Dynamos).

Jamshedpur also has an in-form striker in Michael Soosairaj, who has three goals in his kitty. Overall, Delhi Dynamos faces a tough challenge against a robust Jamshedpur FC on Sunday.