Image Courtesy a Indian Super League Media Team.
Kerala Blasters FC
1900 IST, 03 December, 2015
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
The 53rd match of Indian Super League (ISL) 2015 will see third place Delhi Dynamos FC take on bottom place Kerala Blasters FC at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.
The Dynamos clinched qualification last time out after securing a late 2-1 win over NorthEast United FC in Guwahati on Saturday. They currently sit at 3rd position in the league behind Atletico de Kolkata and FC Goa with 21 points. With two home fixtures coming up in the next week, the Delhi Dynamos will be looking to clinch top spot in the Indian Super League.
Bottom side Kerala Blasters FC have no chance of qualifying for the quarter finals of the Indian Super League. The Blasters have failed to replicate the form that saw them reach the final of the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League. They will be looking to play for pride when they they take on Roberto Carlos’ Delhi Dynamos on Thursday.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
Delhi Dynamos FC
After recording just 2 home wins out of 5 matches played, the Delhi Dynamos FC have been unable to take advantage of home conditions. However, having already qualified for the semifinals of the tournament, a relaxed Dynamos side would be looking to express themselves more on the pitch.
After being thrashed 4-0 by Chennaiyin FC, Carlos reverted to his much favored 4-5-1 formation against North East with Robin Singh up top. As a result, the Dynamos were able to tighten up at the back and secured a much needed win to ensure qualification. Against the Blasters at home, Carlos will most likely switch to a more attacking 4-4-2 formation with Richard Gadze and Robin Singh up top.
Delhi manager Roberto Carlos revealed in his pre-match press conference that right back Souvik Chakraborty will not feature against the Blasters along with Vinicius and Chicao Anderson.
The Lions have the sturdiest defence in the league having conceded a mere 14 goals in the 12 matches played so far. The 4 man back-line of Anas Edathodika, John-Arne Riise, Ralte Adinga and Souvik have performed admirably in defence for the Dynamos this season. However, in the absence of Souvik, Anwar Ali will most likely start at right back for the Dynamos. Doblas will continue in goal.
Delhi’s 4 man midfield will be without Chicao Anderson and Vinicius as revealed by Carlos. Hans Mulder, Florent Malouda, Len and Dos Santos are expected start in midfield for the Pride.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-4-2): Doblas (GK); Anas, Riise, Ralte, Ali; Mulder, Dos Santos, Malouda, Len; Singh, Gadze. .
Kerala Blasters FC
It has been a miserable campaign thusfar for the Kerala Blasters FC. With just 3 wins in 13 matches played so far this season, Kerala Blasters lie in last spot in the league table with 12 points. They will be looking to bow out of the competition with a win against the Dynamos.
After their 5-1 mauling at the hands of FC Goa in their last match, Kerala Blasters manager Terry Phelan will be hoping that his team display more defensive resilience at the back.
Stephen Bywater will retain in his place between the sticks with Ramage, Jhingan, Deepak and Saumik in front of him constituting the 4 man defence.
Josu, who was sent off against FC Goa in his last match for the club, is unavailable for selection and will be replaced by the Portuguese Coimbra in midfield. Pulga and Carvalho will accompany Coimbra in Kerala’s 3 man midfield.
Mohammad Rafi, who has been the stand out Indian performer for the Blasters in this campaign, will start up front alongside German and Dagnall.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-3-3): Bywater (GK); Ramage, Jhingan, Saumik, Deepak; Carvalho, Coimbra, Pulga; Dagnall, Rafi, German.
Delhi Dynamos FC 2-1 Kerala Blasters FC
The Delhi Dynamos FC will be hoping to climb to the top of the Indian Super League table after the conclusion of their sixth home match against last year’s finalists Kerala Blasters. The Dynamos are the league’s lowest goalscorers (13) but have also got the league’s best defence (14).
Having won just one match away from home all season, Kerala Blasters will be playing for pride when they turn up against the Dynamos at their den on Thursday. With Delhi having already qualified and Kerala rooted at the bottom of the table, both sides have nothing to play for when they lock horns with each other. A narrow Delhi win is predicted by thehardtackle as the outcome of this match.