Opponent Watch - Delhi Dynamos

On paper, the clash between Jamshedpur FC and Delhi Dynamos at the Furnace may tip the home side as the favourites but this Delhi side cannot be written off this season so quickly and are capable of springing up a few surprises. Although, the hope of qualification for the play-off spot may have dwindled with every disappointing result, the Dynamos can definitely ruin the chances for the other hopefuls and that fact makes them a dangerous proposition for any side.

When you look back at the start of the season, both teams appointed Spanish coaches who had previous experience of coaching in Spain. Namely, Josep Gombau had started out at Amposta, the Catalonian club and later became the youth coach for European Giants, FC Barcelona. They both share the principles of possession-based football and hence, similarities can be drawn out from their style of play.

However, both have had contrasting fortunes when it comes to the position of each of the respective teams on the league table with Jamshedpur FC in the race of a playoff spot whereas the Dynamos languishing at the foot of the table.

Josep Gombau has stayed true to his attacking-based principles this season but serious question are being raised on whether his side can implement his philosophy for the entirety of the match. Gombau has been persistent with his style of play which make the Dynamos a good side to watch but numerous issues have ailed the side to register notable performances in the league.

For a team to do well in any league in the world, it must have goal-scorers to put away the chances that the team creates. Delhi Dynamos have been missing just that, a dependable forward. The duo of Andrija Kaludjerovic and Daniel Lalhimpuia have failed to deliver the goods for the Dynamos. The wingers, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Nandhakumar Sekar have been burdened with the task of scoring and creating which has taken a toll on their consistency.

The insistence of an attacking style of play by Josep Gombau hasn’t been kind on his defenders. The fact that the Dynamos defence have only mustered up one clean sheet so far supports that predicament. When you employ an attacking style of play, you generally attack with more numbers in the opposition half to provide the players more options in attack and subsequently more opportunities to score

However, if you lose the ball in the final third, it leaves you open for an opposition counter-attack. The Dynamos have lost a number of games from winning positions and it is their inability to shut their shop at the back that has hurt them. Against a team that has scored in all games bar one, Delhi Dynamos have their task cut out against an impressive Jamshedpur FC attacking unit.

Gombau's counterpart, Cesar Ferrando employs the same possession-based system but in a different way. The Spaniard more often than not puts out his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation, sacrificing the extra man in midfield for more defensive solidarity with two players sitting in front of the defence instead of one. It could be said, Cesar has a more pragmatic approach and thus, can be argued to have an upper hand going into tonight's encounter.

Cesar’s side is more comfortable without the ball and is not afraid to go long if the need arises. They use the counter-attack more as a utility than a substitute to their style of play. With the likes of Mario Arques deep in midefeild and Tim Cahill up front, it is much easier to go long and find Cahill, who is excellent in bringing the wingers into play than to pass through the opposition which provides the home side with a different dimension going forward.

With an error-prone Delhi defence and a free flowing Jamshedpur FC going against one another, goals in this match are a certainty. The team that emerges victorious however, will be the side that keeps its calm in defence and maintains the composure to bail out their respective sides in difficult situations.

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