Coppell not happy to play in polluted Delhi
Ahead of the Delhi Dynamos versus Jamshedpur FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, here on Wednesday, Travelling team's coach Steve Coppell showed his reservation against playing in the highly polluted national Captial.
"It has been a déjà vu situation for me. I have been coming here for three years now around the same time every year," said Coppell. "And I always hear something would be done to improve the high pollution in the city but it is getting worse. If I was asked to play here or not, I would have said no. But it's not my job, I am the sports guy. But I feel common sense must prevail."
Deeming it a major issue, DD coach Miguel Angel Portugal added: It's a major problem for everyone and not just for players. I took my mask off before entering the room. My players often wear masks while training. It's not possible to play football wearing masks. If my players want to during the match, I won't stop them.
Portugal was later seen in the mask during Dynamos' final practice session before the match. Delhi failed to win their first game at home as they were humbled 2-0 by NorthEast United on Saturday. Playing without their key players in the starting line-up (Mattias Mirabaje, Sena Ralte and Lallinzuala Chhangte), Delhi struggled from the beginning of the match and conceded both the goals in the space of five minutes in the first half itself. The coach informed that injured Mirabaje and Ralte will be out for another week.
"Mattias and Ralte won't be available for the match, they need a week to recover," said Portugal.
DD's coach hinted that star performer Chhangte might start the game and further explained his decision to not to start him in the last game. "There's a possibility that Chhangte will start tomorrow. We have had been playing matches in the gap of three-four days, keeping that in mind I kept him out of the starting XI ," he stated.
Indeed, the Dynamos will require the 20-year-old winger fresh for the game as away team has been a defensive wall this season and are yet to concede a goal over 270 minutes they have played this season. However, they are yet to score a goal too.
Dynamos are expected to stick to their formation of 4-2-3-1 in the next game. Despite not winning the last two games, the midfield trident has always retained more than 60 per cent possession in both the matches. Vinit Rai and Paulinho in a double pivot provided a lot of freedom to Zeroen Lumu — played as a backup for injured Mirabaje — in a free role behind the striker.
A lot will be expected of skipper Kalu Uche again though. Being the only foreign player with previous ISL experience, Uche so far hasn't lived up to the expectation and only got one penalty goal to his name, that too for a losing cause against Bengaluru FC.
Agonisingly, DD's defending on flanks have been terrible so far this season as goals have been often conceded from wing attacks. Despite a poor outing in the last game, Munmun Lugun is expected to fill in for injured Ralte at left back position again.
Jamshedpur, on the other hand, would like to stick to their compact 4-4-1-1 formation. Defending deep in numbers has served them well but it also affected their goal-scoring prowess as forwards are often on their own to eke things out of the long passes thrown at them. The club would be hoping that Sameegh Doutie finds his old form soon.
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