New Delhi, October 2: Delhi Dynamos will look to start their campaign on a winning note when they lock horns with FC Pune City in their Indian Super League season opener here on Wednesday (October 3).
The Dynamos would look to forget a disappointing last season, when they finished eighth. However, they also experienced an incredible six-match unbeaten run, which included draws against three of the four semifinalists as well as a 5-1 rout of Mumbai.
The hosts will try to notch up a win in front of their home supporters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Delhi Dynamos enjoy a good head-to-head record against the visitors - FC Pune City have managed to defeat Delhi only once in their eight encounters and the hosts would want to keep the record intact.
New head coach Joshep Gambau will be relying on their new recruits in the midfield including Bikramjit Singh, Mihelic and Spaniards Marcos Tebar and Adria Carmona to secure them the three points. FC Pune City, who finished fourth last season, will hope to break their Delhi jinx.
After Ranko Popovic resigned, the Pune outfit appointed Brazil U-17 and U-20 World Cup winning-coach Marcos Paqueta, but within a month the Brazilian too terminated his contract. The club quickly brought in Miguel Angel Portugal, who had left Delhi Dynamos at the end of last season.
The club had relied on captain Marcelinho and his deputy Alfaro to take the team forward last season, but Pune have addressed the over-reliance on their attacking pair by signing Iain Hume, ISL's all-time top-scorer, as well as India international Robin Singh to take some of the pressure off the duo.
Forward Ashique Kuruniyan, who impressed with a string of performances last season will also be keen to pick up from where he left. Pune also have the experienced pair of Ashutosh Mehta and Keenan Almeida to boost their defence.
MATCH LIVE ON STAR SPORTS FROM 7.30 PM