Delhi currently lie second with 13 points, the same as table-toppers FC Pune City, but are behind on goal difference. Mumbai are placed seventh with 10 points from seven matches.
Delhi struggled a bit with their combinations early in the campaign before managing to settle down. Delhi’s last match against North East United was a disappointment though as they conceded a late goal to be held to a 1-1 draw despite taking a first half lead.
The hosts’ marquee player-cum-coach Roberto Carlos however, is confident that his players will hit the right notes against Mumbai.
“Mumbai City is a good team but our goal is to get above Pune. It’s important for us to win and stay at the top,” the Brazilian said during the pre-match media briefing here on Thursday.
The 2002 World Cup winner is not concerned that Delhi lost their away clash against Mumbai City and seemed least worried that his side has scored only six goals in the league, the least by any team. Even NorthEast United FC, who are at the bottom of the table, have scored more, although significantly Delhi Dynamos have also conceded only six goals and have the best defensive record.
“I am not worried because we are top of the table. The goals will come at the right moment. Players like Gadze, Nabi, Robin know to score and will score when they have to. May be tomorrow my strikers will score two goals each,” said Carlos, probably indicating that Adil Nabi, on loan from English Premier League (EPL) side West Bromwich Albion will have a role to play on Friday.
Mumbai City have ambitions of their own. The visitors suffered a heavy defeat in their last match at home against Atletico de Kolkata and their assistant coach Oscar Bruzon admitted that the defending champions were the better side.
“In the last game, we were a little bit over confident and ATK were a much better team than us. We analysed everything. Their fighting spirit was better than us. It’s true we defeated Delhi in our home game but that battle is finished. The new battle is tomorrow,” the Spanish coach said.
Next week, Mumbai will miss three of their players including star forwards Sunil Chhetri and Sony Norde, both of whom will be away on international duty, and Bruzon admitted that the clash against Delhi was of maximum importance.