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ISL 2018-19: All eyes on Sunil Chhetri as Bengaluru FC face Delhi Dynamos

Bengaluru and Delhi have faced each other twice, winning one match apiece

BS Web Team & Agencies 

Bengaluru FC vs Delhi Dynamos (Photo: indiansuperleague.com)
Bengaluru FC vs Delhi Dynamos (Photo: indiansuperleague.com)

Most of the eyes will be focused on FC captain Sunil Chhetri when he makes his 150th appearance for the club against bottom-placed Dynamos in the Indian Super League at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in on Monday.

Chhetri has been the mascot for FC and has been with the champion side since inception. He has been the face of Bengaluru's campaigns all along and, just like the last clash against FC Goa, proved he can make the difference between two teams.

Monday's clash is between a team which occupies the second position against one placed at the bottom of the table. Dynamos are likely to find the going tough against a strong side.

Bengaluru FC are the only team who are unbeaten so far, although they have only played six matches. They are coming into the tie on the back of an impressive 2-1 win over FC Goa where both teams were reduced to 10 men. As a result, the Blues will miss the services of midfielder Dimas Delgado and Xisco Hernandez is expected to take his place.

have struggled in the attacking third especially, having only scored seven goals from their eight matches. Clinical is a word you wouldn't associate with Delhi as they have been extremely wasteful with their finishing.

Coach Josep Gombau will hope that his players have had adequate rest and that they would get over the disappointment from the first phase of games.

SQUADS: For Bengaluru, star striker Miku and Erik Paartalu both missed the last clash with injuries. While Paartalu has had surgery on his toe and will miss a few more games, Miku could return if he recovers from the swollen ankle that kept him out of the last game.

Should Miku fail to recover, Chencho Gyltshen, who made his first appearance against Goa, will get another opportunity to shoulder the attacking responsibility alongside Chhetri, who already has five goals to his name this season.

Two players who are certain to miss the match are Dimas Delgado and Erik Paartalu. Delgado was sent off in the match against Goa and will be suspended against Delhi, while Paartalu has undergone a toe surgery which will keep him out for a few more matches. The absence of the two key midfielders will leave Bengaluru light in the middle of the park - something Delhi will have to take advantage of if they want to get a positive result.

Cuadrat allowed defender Rahul Bheke the freedom to join in with the attack every opportunity he got against Goa and the right-back was a constant threat in the opposition half. He also scored a magnificent back heel goal - his first-ever in the Hero We can expect to see him spending a lot of time in Delhi's half on Monday.

For Delhi, Pritam Kotal and Narayan Das will have to lead the defence, which has leaked in 13 goals. Their team composition would depend on whether Gombau opts to start with Albino Gomes in goal or pick Francisco Dorronsorro.

Daniel Lalhimpuia will be keen to make a mark against Bengaluru, a club where he amassed a total playing time of five minutes in the

Delhi fans will hope that the likes of Pritam Kotal, Narayan Das and Lallianzuala Chhangte can rally their team and pick up some points against the mighty Bengaluru.

FORM: Bengaluru have been hands down the most impressive team in the league so far. The Blues are currently the only unbeaten team this season and have won their last four matches on a trot. Carles Cuadrat's men have looked like a well-rounded unit this season. The Blues not only boast the meanest defence in the league so far, having conceded just five goals in six matches, but have also been lethal going forward.

Bengaluru have scored 12 goals from 24 shots on target. They have the passing accuracy of 69.25 per cent and kept two cleansheets.

Delhi are in the middle of their worst-ever start in the Hero and are rooted to the bottom of the table with just four points from eight matches. The Lions will play their first match after a 17-day-long break and head coach Josep Gombau will be eager to make a fresh start and turn things around quickly.

The Lions have had their fair share of problems in both attack and defence. The team has only managed to score seven times and conceded 13 goals in their eight matches so far. Delhi have scored seven goals from 24 shots on target. They have the passing accuracy of 69.69 per cent and kept one cleansheet.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Bengaluru and Delhi have faced each other twice, winning one match apiece.

PROBABLE 11S:

Bengaluru FC: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Rahul Bheke, Albert Serran, Juanan, Nishu Kumar, Harmanjot Khabra, Kean Lewis, Xisco Hernandez, Udanta Singh, Chencho Gyeltshen, Sunil Chhetri (C)

FC: Francisco Dorronsoro (GK), Gianni Zuiverloon, Marti Crespi, Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal (C), Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Nandhakumar Sekar, Marcos Tebar, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bikramjit Singh, Adria Carmona

First Published: Sun, November 25 2018. 23:58 IST