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Indian Super League: FC Pune City hope to start with win vs Delhi Dynamos

FC Pune City have managed to defeat Delhi Dynamos only once in their six encounters in Indian Super League

indian super league 2017 Updated: Nov 21, 2017 23:32 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Pune
Indian Super League,FC Pune City,Delhi Dynamos
FC Pune City players during a practice session ahead of Indian Super League match.(Twitter)

FC Pune City would look to improve upon their poor record against Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League when they take on each other in their campaign opener this season here tomorrow.

In their six encounters in the ISL history, FC Pune City have managed to defeat Delhi Dynamos only once.

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So, when the two teams meet tomorrow in their ISL 4 season opener at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, FC Pune City’s new head coach Ranko Popovic will be hoping to do one better.

“I’m excited about our first match. We have had enough time to prepare. The players are also very excited. I hope we’ll be able to do what we want to,” the Serbian tactician said.

Responding to a question on the advantage of playing their first match at home, Popovic said, “I don’t think it is an advantage. If you want to win, you have to play well both home and away.

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“Yes, at home we’ll have more support to win all three points. But that does not change the way we’ll play,” he added.

The 50-year-old manager, who is in India for the first time, has plenty of firepower at his disposal. Last season’s top scorer Marcelino, who made the switch from Delhi to Pune along with Kean Lewis, will be the ones to watch out for. The duo netted 14 times last season.

For Delhi Dynamos, it’s all about building on from last season. The Delhi side have made it to the play-offs in two of the three previous editions of the ISL, but they are yet to make it to the finals.

And for their new Spanish manager Miguel Angel Portugal, that will be the target.

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“It is important to start well. This first match is the test for what is my team is capable of. I think the competition is very balanced. The way I see it, anyone can win it,” Portugal said at the match-eve press conference.

Even though the team has lost some of their mercurial players from last season, Delhi have brought in suitable replacements in the summer.

Nigerian forward Kalu Uche will be the main man for Portugal’s team as far as attack is concerned. The Dynamos also have brought in Netherland striker Guyon Fernandez to compliment Uche.

Commenting on the opposition in tomorrow’s game, the Spaniard said, “Pune is a good team. They have some very good players in like Marcelinho and Alfaro in their squad. It’s a difficult place (Pune) to come and play.

“We will try to win for me that is important. But this is the first game so we’ll see how it goes. We’ll also have to uncover how other teams in the competition play.”

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 20:43 IST