ISL 2015: Kerala Blasters vs Delhi Dynamos - Preview

Delhi Dynamos take on Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League football here on Sunday.

PTI| Updated: Oct 18, 2015, 08:47 AM IST
ISL 2015: Kerala Blasters vs Delhi Dynamos - Preview

Kochi: High on confidence after their back-to-back victories, Delhi Dynamos take on Kerala Blasters in their second consecutive away match in the Indian Super League football here on Sunday.

After succumbing to FC Goa in their campaign opener, Delhi grabbed two victories in a row against Chennaiyin FC and FC Pune City.

But, the visiting side, coached by Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos, will have a tough job tomorrow against a Kerala side that has been strengthened by the return of their marquee player Carlos Marchena from injury.

The Blasters, co-owned by Sachin Tendulkar, will also be boosted by the return of Indian center back Sandhesh Jhingan and his national team-mate Cavin Lobo.

Delhi will also get the services of their three India players in midfielders Francis Fernandes, Sehnaj Singh and striker Robin Singh as they have come back from national duty in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Carlos said his boys will not be intimidated while playing in front of 60,000 supporters cheering for their opponents at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium tomorrow.

"The majority of my players know what to expect when you play here. I've spoken to all my players and they know it will be tough with so many supporters helping Kerala. But if we are focused and motivated, we can get the better of them," he said at the pre-match press conference.

"As a player, I used to love playing at a packed stadium. I would run on to the pitch like crazy to win the game. So my players, too, will enjoy in front of 60,000 people. They need to go out there and have fun," he added.

Carlos played the opener against FC Goa, which his side lost 0-2, for 45 minutes and has not made an appearance again. He remained non-committal about his playing role tomorrow as well.

"In the last two games, there was no need for me. I will play if needed," said the 2002 World Cup winner Brazilian.

Kerala started their campaign with a thumping 3-1 win over NorthEast United FC and then split points with Mumbai City FC before losing to reigning champions Atletico de Kolkata.

Coach Peter Taylor said that Delhi have a very good team but his side would be equal to the task.

"Delhi Dynamos have made some very good signings. They have a fantastic head coach in Roberto Carlos. I've seen some players during their time in England; (John) Riise and (Florent) Malouda are very good players. It's a big test for us. Certainly we respect Delhi, they have a good squad but we have to make sure that when we enter the field, we show what we are capable of," said Taylor.

Asked about the return of India players Jhingan and Lobo from national duty, Taylor said, "I'm very happy to have them back, especially injury-free after national team duties. I know Sandesh had a wonderful last season and I'm expecting him to repeat it this season.

"The same goes for Calvin, we had a few friendlies before he flew for international duties and he was playing well. I was disappointed to lose him for three matches. But now they're back and I want them to play as well as they can," said the Englishman.

In another good news for the team, Kerala's marquee player Carlos Marchena is also set to play his first game this season tomorrow after missing out on previous matches on account of injury.

Taylor confirmed his participation.

"He (Marchena) is set to feature in this match, it just a question of whether to feature him in the first eleven or as a substitute. He's been training with us and he can play a half," Taylor said.

"I know that he can play central in our back four or three, he's a very good passer of the ball and I just want to make sure that I send him in at the right time," said the home team coach.