Pune City FC
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
14th October 2014, 19:00 IST
The stage could not have been more set. After Delhi Daredevils, Dabang Delhi – the capital waits to support and cheer another DD team – the Delhi Dynamos. Last time Delhi witnessed premier football action was when ONGC played their home matches at the Ambedkar Stadium in 12/13 season. The Indian Super league looks to bring back the excitement of the beautiful game to the capital as they gear up for their first match against a robust Pune City FC. Let’s have a look at both the teams, weigh their chances and predict the result.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
DEN network owned team, has been a trend setter in the league – whether it is a tie-up with a European club (Feyenoord) or coming up with a team song or a tagline. The Harm Van Veldhoven coached side has been in immaculate form in the pre season friendlies, where the club took a very shrewd decision to play all the friendlies in the capital to make the foreign players acclimatize to the heat and conditions in India.
The Delhi team is most likely to deploy the 4-3-1-2 formation with the former world cup winner at the helm to finish the moves. Whether or not Alessandro Del Piero syncs with the fellow, in form DD striker is yet to be seen, as the Italian legend was not involved in any of the four friendlies. It will definitely be Del Piero in the middle, just behind Junker and Skoubo, who have been hitting the back of the net. It will be interesting to see where Manandeep Singh fits in the striking department. The former east Bengal striker will be definitely raring to go and prove a point.
The Delhi Dynamos team is blessed with some of the best midfield runners in the nation. Francis Fernandez, the Salgaocar lad is expected to start on the left flank with Souvik Chakraborty most probably taking up the responsibilities on the right flank. Veldhoven could also use Hans Mulder in the middle of the park. The defensive Dutch midfielder has been very impressive in the pre season friendlies. Similar is the case with Czech star Pavel Elias who has been rotated by the Belgian coach. Shylo Malswamtulunga could also be used as an impact player off the bench as the former East Bengal winger has been among the assists.
Former India international Anwar Ali could be seen partnering the 29 yr. old Wim Raymaekers in the centre of defence. The fullback roles are expected to be taken up by Naoba Singh and Robert Lalthlamuana, who do the same for East Bengal FC in the I-League. This could work to the advantage of Delhi Dynamos as both the full backs would be in sync. Apart from the domestic players, Van Veldhoven could also use Stijn Houben at the back- the Feyenoord academy player who is all set to take the ISL by storm.
Van Veldhoven has probably the best goalkeeping squad up his sleeve. Van Hout- by far the tallest professional to grace the Indian Super League would be a sure shot starter under the bar for the Orange brigade. Adding to the options would be Czech Republic player Marek Cech and TFA product Jagroop Singh.
Probable starting 11: Van Hout (GK), Robert, Anwar, Wim, Naoba; Souvik, Hans, Mama; Del Piero, Junker, Skoubo.
Pune City FC:
The Wadhwa Group- Hrithik Roshan co owed kick off their ISL journey with a tough game away at Delhi. The team has had a mix set of pre season friendlies results. The team has a strategic tie up with Fiorentina ACF and has garnered a very good team, especially in the middle of the park.
Coach Franco Colomba is expected to go in with 4-4-2, which helps the team from Pune use the physical nature of their players to the maximum. David Trezeguet is likely to start with Dudu Omagbemi up front. The latter has been around the Indian football scene for quite sometime now and could lay some impactful blows as the season rolls on. Ivan Bolardo is another option upfront for the Italian mastermind, but could come off the bench as an impact player.
Pune City FC flaunts one of the best midfield in the league, with some highly experienced players pulling the strings. Lenny Rodrigues, the 27 yr. old has already made nineteen appearances for the national team and was also the AIFF player of the year couple of seasons back. Then the team also boasts the presence of former Jammu & Kashmir captain and India international Mehrajuddin Wadoo in the middle, alongside Greek captain Kostas Katsouranis. Both the aforementioned players are known for their sturdy role and interceptions. Adding to the robustness is the flair of Manish Miathani and Ashutosh Mehta- both very young and experienced in Indian conditions. Japanese sensation Kwang will also be one of the players to watch out in the Pune team as Franco looks to strike an acute combination of domestic and foreign players.
Defense line could constitute of Pritam Kotal – the impressive AIFF XI academy product, who now plys his trade with Mohun Bagan- provides agility on the right flank with his impressive overlapping runs. In addition to Kotal, Churchill Brothers captain Dharamraj Ravanan also brings a lot of domestic experience on the plate. Pune FC coach Franco would be inclined to use all his three foreign defenders to provide stability at the back namely: – Andrés González ( 11 caps for Colombia), Daniele Magliocchetti and Bruno Cirillo.
Albeit the team has former Juventus Custodian among their ranks, India international Arindham Bhattacharya is expected to start under the bars for the orange-purple stripes tomorrow.
Probable starting 11: Arindham(GK), Cirillo, Magliocchetti, González; Ravanan; Mehraj, Kostas, Lenny, Ashutosh, Dudu, Trezeguet.
Player to Watch Out:
Mads Junker (Delhi Dynamos)
Albeit Alessandro Del Piero is making all the waves before the Delhi Dynamos kick their season off at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium tomorrow, another player is hoping to extend his superb form. Junker- the 33 yr. old striker from Denmark has flaunted a 100% scoring record in all the pre season friendlies so far. Along with Del Piero- he will be the top guys to mark for Pune defenders tomorrow.
David Trezeguet (Pune City FC)
The former France international has a tremendous record for both country and club, ergo; he has been aptly nominated as the Marquee player for the Pune City FC. Known for his poaching skills- David Trezeguet could be the difference between an insipid performance and clinching all three points from it.
Delhi Dynamos 2-1 Pune City FC
Both the strike duo for the team from the capital have been in tremendous form and the addition of Del Piero to the squad is nothing short of a massive boost. It might be a close affair in the opening few minutes, but Delhi Dynamos could run out winners in this tie, courtesy their in form strikers.