4th October 2015, 19:00 IST
Fatorda Stadium, Goa
The team which finished second in the league table (semifinalist) last season kicks off its challenge at the Fatorda Stadium, on Sunday, as FC Goa welcomes Delhi Dynamos. Undoubtedly, both the sides would be looking to kick start their campaign with all three points, but how these sides shape up will be of equal interest to the fans. Let’s take a closer look at how these teams would line up and tactics deployed by Roberto Carlos & Zico.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
The Gaurs would be going into the first home game with their tails high because of numerous reasons. For once Zico appears to be more than settled, having signed all the players he had on his radar this summer. The Virat Kohli backed side will be oozing with confidence after their conclusive performances in UAE on the pre season tour, giving the gaffer a fair idea of the new players.
For the opener FC goa would look no further than Laxmikant Kattimani under the bar. The Dempo man has proven his mettle on Indian soil and is now set to grab his chance. Center back positions are expected to be grabbed by former Inter milan man Lucio and Gregory, whose performances last season earned him a second shot in FC Goa Jersey. Right back Debabrata Roy and left back Narayan Das are all set to start tomorrow as well. The Dempo lads would definitely add some spice to attack going forward and them playing together for Dempo for long now certainly adds that extra zip.
Spanish midfielder Jofre needs no introduction- he played a pivotal role in Atletico De Kolkata’s triumph last season. The 35 yr old former Barcelona man could be seen teaming up with Pranoy Halder, another Dempo man. Both of these gentlemen would be responsible to win the key midfield battles and orchestrate moves at the same time. Zico is expected to start brazillian Leo Moura in front of them both with last years’ star Romeo Fernandes and Salgaocar lad Daryll Duffy on the flanks. The fans could also see another favorite Mandar Desai pop up on the right flank. The Gaurs added new strikers Rienaldo and Victor Simoes in the foreign s striking department. Both of them could prove to be more than handy having played in these conditions before ( read middle East).
Probable Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Laxmikant(GK), Narayan, Lucio, Gregory, Debabrata; Jofre, Halder; Romeo, Duffy, Leo; Rienaldo.
Not many around know how Mister Carlos would fare as a manager, but one thing is for sure that Delhi Dynamos would be looking forward to not repeating the same mistake which the team made last season – Getting off to a slow start. Albeit a tough away fixture to kick things of for The Pride, but in order to get things moving in the right direction, the side from the capital need a result at the Fatorda Stadium.
Subhashish Roy is expected to don the custodian’s jersey in Goa tomorrow, with the centre back pairing of former India international Anwar Ali & Chichao protecting his goal. John Arne Riise could be seen making his ISL debut as left back with former East Bengal man Naoba Singh holding up similar responsibilities on the right side of the goal.
Last years’ player of the year, Hans Mulder would be a sure shot starter with last years highest goal getter – Gustavo. Both of them would be looking to use their experience from the first season and make the most of it. Likely to partner them in the middle of the park would be ex Chelsea winger Florent Malouda and Francis Fernandes. Francis did ante up his game last year, but sadly it was too late for the Delhi team to make amends. This season should be different as Roberto Carlos injects massive experience of Malouda in the middle.
Strikers Robin Singh and Adil Nabi are expected to kick start things up front. With all the media hype surrounding to both of them- Carlos would be looking to give them both their fair chances to prove themselves. The pre Season friendlies in Sweden would have led to Carlos getting his first team picture more clearer in the head, for sure.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-1-3-2): Subashish(GK), Riise, Anwar, Chichao, Naoba; Mulder;Gustavo, Malouda, Francis; Robin, Adil.
FC Goa 1-1 Delhi Dynamos
First match for both the teams could end up in both the sides sharing the spoils. Both teams are expected to be nervy and sitting back could be the order of the day. Goa did not lose a single fixture last season at home (in regular time) and would be looking to maintain that, whereas Delhi would be curious to take a revenge for last years’ defeat in the corresponding fixture.