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You are here: Others Feature Stories ISL 3 Match 20 Preview: Atletico de Kolkata vs Delhi Dynamos FC

ISL 3 Match 20 Preview: Atletico de Kolkata vs Delhi Dynamos FC

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Atletico de Kolkata will have more than just a point to prove as they tackle Delhi Dynamos in an intriguing Hero Indian Super League clash at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Kolkata, on Saturday.

In the last two years of the Indian Super League, Atletico de Kolkata – who emerged champions in 2014 – have conquered every opponent in ISL, except for Delhi Dynamos. In four matches between these two teams, ATK have scored just twice against Delhi Dynamos, the lowest they have managed to score against any opponent.

This season, the two teams have maintained their unbeaten record so far. So when these two unbeaten teams  line-up against each other, the hosts will look to set the record straight.

“The bad thing is that we again didn’t win at home but the good thing is we didn’t lose,” ATK coach Jose Molina had said after his team could only manage a 1-1 draw against FC Goa in the last match here.

“We try to improve because we want to win but okay, one more point, 10 more matches still to play, five more matches here at home,” said the Spanish coach.

Based on past records in the ISL, it will not be easy for the hosts to break down Delhi Dynamos. Between these two teams – no home team has ever won till now, and should ATK fail to collect full points against the visitors – which can possibly take them to the second spot – it will be for the first time that they have failed to log full points at home in any of their first three fixtures.

Delhi Dynamos started with a flourish in this edition of ISL. A 3-1 win against defending champions Chennaiyin FC in their own backyard should have taken them high up the table but Gianluca Zambrotta’s side has only managed three successive draws till now against the likes of Kerala Blasters, NorthEast United FC and Mumbai City FC. The last match in particular was difficult for Delhi as they had to fight back twice from a two-goal deficit.

“Fortunately, because of some mistakes from the Mumbai City FC team we could come back from 3-1 down,” admitted Zambrotta.

Should Zambrotta aspire to walk away with full points from Kolkata, he will need Marcelinho to fire. The Brazilian winger’s pace and trickery has troubled most defences, reflecting in his three goals and two assists so far.

If only marquee player Florent Malouda can reproduce the form that took Delhi Dynamos to the semi-finals last season, the visitors can enjoy a massive upper hand. Malouda’s average successful passes per match this season has dropped to 37.5 from 65 passes last season and has been a worry for the Delhi team. However, given the former Chelsea FC midfielder’s unquestionable quality, Zambrotta will hope it’s only a matter of time before Malouda ups the ante.