Newly promoted second division I-League side, Delhi FC will make its Durand Cup debut against ISL 2021-22 champion Hyderabad FC in the Group E match at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Sunday.
Even though Hyderabad goes into game with just four training sessions at home, a new look squad and a new first-team coach in Conor Nestor, it still possesses enough quality to put it across Delhi.
The team from the capital though has been on a good run, winning the third-division league and has assembled a squad of players who have enough experience of the Indian national circuit.
Speaking ahead of the game, the 39-year-old Nestor said, “The training sessions have been good. Some have played a lot and are well-known and some haven’t played much, but I can see the potential. It’s very much a new chapter in a new direction for us. No coach wants to see massive changes and ideally, the changes won’t be as dramatic as they are.”
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Those changes probably point to the new signings it has this season, in the form of Aaryan Saroha, Jonathan Moya, Joe Knowles, Petteri Pennanen, Vignesh and Makan Chote among others.
Among those who have “played a lot” will be its pillar in midfield Brazilian Joao Victor.
Delhi FC has a side with enough pluck with the likes of Vinil Poojary, Himanshu Jangra, Girik Khosla and Bali Gagandeep bringing in a lot of experience. If Hyderabad does not manage to get its combination right, given it’s the first game of the season, Delhi might even pull-off a surprise.
The match is scheduled for an afternoon 2.30 pm kick-off and will be telecasted live on Sony Sports Network.