ISL: Delhi face tough task against Bengaluru

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) On the brink of being eliminated from the competition, Delhi Dynamos face an uphill task when they host table toppers Bengaluru FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.

Currently occupying the bottom spot, the hosts desperately need a win if they have to keep any hopes of survival alive as the ISL enters its business end.

Not surprisingly, Delhi coach Miguel Angel Portugal has declared that his team will treat the match like a final.

“For us now this match is like a final,” Portugal told reporters on Saturday.

The fortunes of these two teams couldn’t have been more different at this stage of the competition. Delhi are struggling to find any form and are currently languishing at the base of the points table.

Portugal’s side have managed just four points from nine games. Their last outing at home ended in 1-3 loss to Kerala Blasters FC.

Bengaluru FC, on the other hand, are leading the league standings. They have 18 points from nine matches — one point ahead of Chennaiyin FC — and have virtually ensured a berth in the ISL play-offs.

Their coach Albert Roca will try everything possible to take advantage of the out-of-form Dynamos and increase their lead at the top.

“We deserved more from the game. We played good. We had 70 percent of the ball possession. Kerala took their chances and the game ended 3-1,” Portugal said while talking about Delhi’s last game.

The Spanish coach also backed his players despite his team’s lack of form

“Well, for the next I have almost the same team. I think my players have executed the plans well,” he said.

The visitors come into the game with two back-to-back wins over ATK and Kerala and will be full of confidence.

But at the same time, their Roca does not want to take anything lightly.

“I have a lot of respect for their coach Portugal. They have been playing good football but they have been unlucky at the same time. We’ll have to wary of their threat,” he said.

Bengaluru FC have been exceptional so far in their debut ISL season. Having players like Sunil Chettri in top form has also been really helpful, and coach Roca was full of praise for this team at the pre-match press conference.

“We have some of the best players in the country. We have the captain of the national team but you still have to make a team out of it. So we have to keep learning and improving especially tomorrow to get the right result,” he said.

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