Second placed Delhi Dynamos will look to cash in on their momentum of two back-to-back wins and script a third as they face defending champions Chennaiyin FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) football match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Delhi Dynamos will be hoping to consolidate on their strong position at the top half of the table and head coach Gianluca Zambrotta would expect his players to repeat the performance they put up against Chennaiyin FC in their first leg, comfortably cruising to a 3-1 victory.
At the pre-match press conference, Zambrotta reiterated the need to continue to focus hard saying, “Tomorrow will be a strong match against a very good team. It will surely be a great challenge and we’ll try to do our best. The great thing is that there are no injury concerns and all the players are available one hundred percent.”
Visibly happy with the way his strikers are performing at the moment, the coach added, “We are coming off two great matches that we won and we are getting better day by day. We have to remember that our focus and our target is to make it to the playoffs as soon as possible.”
Delhi had defeated Kerala Blasters FC 2-0 in their previous game, with Kean Lewis and Marcelinho getting on to the score sheet in that match.
The first half of the last game was all square in context of chances, but Delhi bossed possession.
With Marcos Tebar controlling proceedings, the game was played at a good pace, much to the liking of Zambrotta.
Speaking about the importance of momentum for a team that is doing well on the pitch, the Italian coach said, “In the two matches that we won, I am happy about the way we obtained the wins. I think we played a great tactical game, constructed nicely and also created a lot of opportunities.”
Asked about squaring up against his 2006 World Cup-winning teammate and Chennaiyin chief coach Marco Materazzi, Zambrotta quipped, “It will be a nice experience in the match-up against Marco.”
“Their team has only one world cup winner, while we have two -- me and (assistant coach) Simone Barone,” he added jokingly.
The coach, yet again, played a masterstroke in his starting line-up against Kerala.
Giving Marcelinho and Kean Lewis starting spots made his intent for victory clear, and his attacking wingers did not disappoint him, both scoring in the second-half.
Marcelinho, who scored his fifth goal in the league, has become the joint highest scorer in the league and has been one of the key players for Delhi Dynamos.
Indian defender and Delhi regular Anas Edathodika was the man-of-the-match against Kerala for the second match running after his terrific performances in the defensive half.
The Kerala-born player broke a lot of opposition attacks and was rock solid in the backline. Putting in yet another strong performance, Anas has made the left centre-back position his own and has proven why he deserves to start every game.
Chennaiyin FC currently sit fourth on the table coming off a 1-1 draw against Pune City FC. They have played a game less and will be looking to make their presence felt against the team which handed them a defeat in the earlier stages of the tournament.
Chennaiyin FC have always performed well in the business end of the league in the first two seasons and it will be critical for Delhi Dynamos to play to its strengths.
The coach would expect his players to go out and get the three points to get back to the top of the league table. The coach knows that these home games are crucial, as they play three of their last four league games away.