Having ended their winless streak finally against bottom-placed FC Goa, upbeat Delhi Dynamos will look to register full points at home when they take on Kerala Blasters at Jawaharlal Nehry Stadium on Friday.
Dynamos are yet to win a match at home but after the convincing win against Goa coach Gianluca Zambrotta will be confident that his team can break the duck.
Delhi Dynamos have drawn all their three matches at home and now face Kerala Blasters, who have the best defensive record in the league.
However, Delhi have a notable record of scoring 10 goals this season, the maximum by any team.
“We know perfectly that Kerala is a difficult team. They are a good side, they win, they fight. It’s difficult for us but we are ready for this game,” said Zambrotta, whose team has 44 shots on target, the most by a team this season.
Kerala Blasters are currently on a five-match unbeaten streak, and should Kerala avoid defeat against Delhi Dynamos, this will become their longest unbeaten run (six matches) in the ISL. The visitors have nine points from seven matches and this is their best start to an ISL campaign.
The worry for Kerala though is the lack of goals and coach Steve Coppell said his team was working hard to ensure they have enough goals to sail through.
“There is no real formula for success. In the first year, Kerala got to the final scoring only nine goals. We are not trying to emulate that; we are trying to score as many as possible. Last year, Kerala scored 20 goals and finished at the bottom! It just shows that a better balance is needed,” said Coppell.
The ISL has reached the half-way stage and Coppell felt the league will now open up a little bit more as teams, battling for a place in the semi-finals, will take more risks.
“May be in the first half of the season people were more frightened of losing and in the second half, people realise they have to win to get to the play-offs. There will be change of emphasis as each game goes towards the end of season: The league will open up a little bit more with each game,” said the Kerala coach.
A win for Delhi Dynamos will take them to the top of the table for the first time while Kerala Blasters will move to the top four for the first time since losing two matches in a row at the start of the league.