Kerala Blasters FC and FC Pune City will kick off after Delhi Dynamos FC and Chennaiyin FC have already played out their game. The second game can either be completely redundant from the perspective of the Indian Super League or be extremely crucial.
Dependent on Other Results in the League
It doesn’t feel nice to not have your fate in your own hands. It’s not nice knowing that you no longer control your own future.
Unfortunately, that’s what you get if you don’t do the deeds that need to be done in advance.
Kerala Blasters FC are in this position because they drew with Northeast United FC while FC Pune City are in this situation because they lost to Delhi Dynamos FC.
In fact, Delhi Dynamos FC’s win over FC Pune City really must’ve set the cats amongst the pigeons because it affected everyone from FC Pune City to Mumbai City FC.
A win from Delhi Dynamos FC in their earlier match would be the first event that these two teams don’t need. It would mean that Delhi Dynamos would be on 20 points and in control of one of the available spots for the qualifying round.
The other result that these two teams would be praying would never come to pass is Atletico De Kolkata drawing or winning against FC Goa on the following day.
A draw in that game would mean that Atletico De Kolkata would be on 19 points with a better GD than the rest of the chasing pack. If Kolkata win that game then GD would not matter because they will be on 21 points.
Win the Game and Hope for the Best
The coaches can tell their respective players only one thing. It will be ‘win the game and hope for the best’. There’s really nothing else that they can do. Even if Delhi Dynamos triumph over Chennaiyin FC, there will still be one spot left for the two teams to vie for.
Neither of the teams can sit back. They will both set out to attack each other. The big question is simply how they do it and whether they do it straight from the start. From what I’ve seen in my years of watching football, it is common sense for managers to set out to frustrate for a good bit of the first half and then open up a little more a little later.
It’s only the bravest managers who go for the kill from the very first whistle. I have no idea what kind of coaches Franco Colomba and David James are. My gut tells me that Colomba’s instinct is to attack while James’s is to defend but I can’t say for sure.
Kerala Blasters FC vs. FC Pune City – Tepid or Intense
There are times when two teams in desperate need of a win cancel each other out. These are essentially times when both teams buckle under the pressure.
The tactics in such matches go out of the window and the players from both sides start focusing on not making a mistake as opposed to coming up with something excellent.
I’m worried it might happen in this game. I worry about this for 2 reasons. The first is that both teams are not in form. Kerala Blasters FC have lost 2 of their last 3 games while FC Pune City have only won once in their last 7 games.
The second reason is fatigue. I don’t like the fact that the Indian Super League was fit into a period of 2 months and one week. I hope they do something about it in the future. The AIFF did say that they will merge the ISL with the I-League.
I hope they do it soon because all this playing every 2-4 days reduces the quality of the game by tiring the players too much. Add to this the fact that a large majority of quality and creativity in the league comes from ageing international superstars and we have a very tired group of players.
I hope the two teams are able to come up with a way to get around the physical and mental fatigue. Because if they don’t, then the match will suffer.