. FC Goa
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi
6th December, 2015
The four semi final spots of the Indian Super League (ISL) might have been decided, but both Delhi Dynamos FC and FC Goa have something to fight for, in the last league stage match of the season.
The teams that finish in the top two positions have a bit of an advantage in the semi finals, as they get to play the second leg at their own home ground. So the last league match of the 2015 ISL provides us a number of possibilities. Current top team Atletico de Kolkata seem to have cemented their place in the top-two, in spite of a loss to Mumbai City FC in their last match of the season. However, it’s not quite so simple for Delhi Dynamos FC and FC Goa.
Team News & Tactical Brief
Delhi Dynamos FC
The equation is quite simple for Delhi Dynamos FC — a win would take them to the top spot. A loss would keep them in the fourth spot. Meanwhile, a draw would not really do them any good, in spite of taking them to the third spot. In the latter case, they would still have to play their second leg away from home. Thus, the Lions would definately be gunning for a draw in this match.
However, while they would be trying to give their utmost to win this game, Delhi Dynamos Fc would also be trying not to reveal their hand to the Goan side, as it is certain that these two teams would be facing each other in the semi finals. The only thing that this match would decide, is who will play the second leg at home.
Thus Delhi coach Roberto Carlos may rest a couple of key players in this match, to keep them refreshed for the semis. Antonio Doblas has been the main custodian, but it seems as though Carlos is rotating his keepers in the last two relatively inconsequential matches.
Subhashish Roy Chowdhury got a chnace in the last game, and there is a high possibility that Sanjiban Ghosh will get the nod in this one. Centreback Anas has been brilliant this season, but might be rested, after being extensively used, as Riise and Chico fould find themselves partnering eachother instead of the Indian defender.
Star player Florent Malouda cloud also be given a bit of a rest, or he could com eon from the bench in the second hald, while Carlos would desparately be trying to get midfielder Hans Mulder back on form ahead of the semi finals. Normally, Carlos likes to play Dos Santaos off the bench, but since this match is of lesser significance, the Brazilian might end up getting yet another start.
Probable Starting XI (4-4-1-1): Sanjiban; Ralte, Riise, Chicao, Souvik; Dos Santos, Sehnaj, Mulder, Shylo; Nabi; Gadze.
A draw would be enough to earn FC Goa a place in the top-two, which would also earn them a semi final second leg at home. FC Goa coach Zico would also be careful not to reveal his hand to compatriot Roberto Carlos ahead of the semi final, especially as a simple draw would do the trick for them.
Because of this, it is highly possible that Zio may rest some of his players and go for a rater defensive setup against Delhi Dynamos FC, with a 5-3-2 formation. In spite of this however, the defensive setup is set to be the same, with Gregory Arnolin, Lucio and Raju Gaikwad manning the back.
Narayan Das is also set to get a start at the left back position, with Romeo Fernandes at right back. Two can also move up the pitch, if they need to go looking for goals, and make it a 3-5-2 formation.
Pronay Haldar played well in the 5-1 win over Kerala Blasters FC, and could be rewarded with another start in the three-man midfield, alongside Jofre and Leonardo Moura, while Dudu and Haokip start as the attacking duo.
Probable Starting XI (5-3-2): Xavier; Das, Gaikwad, Lucio, Gregory, Romeo; Halder, Jofre, Moura; Dudu, Haokip.
Player to watch out for
Dudu Omagbemi (FC Goa)
The Nigerian forward has been a constant menace up front for the Gaurs this season, and could destroy any defence on his day. With three goals from four matches, the business end of the season might just be the time the Dudu starts to shine.
Delhi Dynamos FC 2-4 FC Goa
With not much at stake, this could well turn out to be a wide open game, with a lot of opportunities. In spite of both the teams not playing to their full strength though, the FC Goa team looks a bit too strong for Roberto Carlos’ men to overcome.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media Team