Delhi Dynamos FC will take on Mumbai City FC today evening. They would both be heartened by the way Northeast United FC shot up the table yesterday with a single great performance that gave them a comprehensive win over Chennaiyin FC. For both, these teams, a similar rise is also possible.
A Dearth of Goals for Delhi Dynamos FC and Mumbai City FC
Delhi Dynamos FC can claim the 6th or 5th position with a win. Which position they claim depends on the margin of their win. They’ll need to win by a minimum margin of 3 goals to go above Northeast United FC.
Mumbai City FC, on the other hand, can definitely claim the 5th position in the league and have a shot at the 4th position. In order to go 4th in the Indian Super League table, Mumbai City FC will have to win by 3 or more than 3 goals.
Neither of the teams is prolific in the attacking department so it’s hard to see them winning by 3 goals. In fact, in terms of goals scored, Mumbai City FC is tied with Kerala Blasters FC at the foot of the table while Delhi Dynamos FC is the second worst team tied with FC Pune City.
Mumbai City FC has actually not scored a single goal in the last 4 games. It’ll be even more difficult for them today because they can neither field Nicolas Anelka nor Andre Moritz, both of whom are injured, as per their manager. They may have Freddie Ljungberg playing, though, which should soften the blow a little.
Still, Ljungberg, as much as I love the man, hasn’t really lit up the league with his skill. At his peak, he was one of the best off the ball runners I have ever seen. With age, I doubt he’ll be doing a lot of running which means that he needs support in the striking and creative departments both. Mumbai City FC can’t provide either in this match with the absence of their other 2 cream attackers.
Peter Reid’s Curve Ball
The Mumbai City FC head coach, Peter Reid, seems to understand the predicament his team find themselves in. He categorically mentioned the absence of Anelka and Moritz as something that could be a problem.
The strategy he specified in his pre-match press conference is strange, if you ask me. Read for yourself:
Scoring goals has been a problem. I have to change the objective of the team. If tomorrow night we go one down, I will change the game because we need points. However, it will be difficult for us because we are missing Anelka and Moritz who arguably are the best attacking players we have. So it is now up to somebody else to take the chance and that’s what we will be looking to do.
I, honestly, don’t understand this. You know you need a win, why don’t you go attack straight away? I mean I get that it’s an away game but you still need the points.
Be brave and go for it. Moreover, your loss to Chennaiyin FC should’ve shown you that you can be beaten defensively too.
Didn’t you learn anything from the way Delhi Dynamos FC played against Northeast United FC and Northeast United FC, themselves, played against Chennaiyin FC?
Still, what do I know, my last two predictions of struggling teams fell flat on their face and he is after all a manager of pedigree. Strong opinions aside, it’ll be interesting to watch Peter Reid’s strategy.
Tactical Surprises to Continue From Harm Van Veldhoven?
Delhi Dynamos FC head coach, Harm Van Veldhoven, was behind their surprise win last time out against Northeast United FC.
He changed the tactics and personnel on the pitch to draw out goals and a better performance out of them. Journalists at his pre-game press conference expected more of the same. He responded:
Every game is different. It is important to make combinations and to score goals. We had tried out some new things with Gustavo dos Santos and Francis Fernandes, which worked well when we were away, but we have to see if it can work in every game.
Don’t expect him to follow the same strategy, though, because he followed this quote with another gem saying:
However, we cannot play with the same players all the time. We also have to analyse the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and choose the team accordingly for that particular game. Maybe we play in the same organisation but with different players.
All this goes to say that you can’t predict what Van Veldhoven will do with his team to face Mumbai City FC. I do want Alessandro Del Pierro to have a role to play in this game because he, like Freddie Ljungberg, hasn’t really done a lot in this league. If he plays, maybe we’ll get to see one of his trademark long range curling shots.