Two teams that love having the ball come face to face today as Delhi Dynamos host this year’s surprise package so far, NorthEast United. The difference between the two sides up until this point has been twofold. Firstly, NorthEast have been smarter on the ball and used possession more effectively, whereas Delhi have not. Take their recent home encounter against Chennaiyin. Delhi had 52% of the ball, yet they were under the cosh for large periods of the game and only came away with a point from the game thanks to some simply unbelievable goalkeeping from Dorronsoro.

Missing Uche

One thing that is certain, Delhi are missing Kalu Uche. That’s not meant as a dig to Kaluderovic, who has looked half-decent, it’s just that he’s not programmed the same way as Uche. Then again, not many players are. Kaluderovic has managed one goal in five games and his shot conversion rate is 10% which tells its own story. That’s not to say that he won’t improve in the coming weeks. All the same, you have to question how Delhi end up with someone Kaluderovic while NorthEast plucked Ogbeche from Holland and he’s started like a bullet train.

Considering what I’ve just said, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Kaluderovic ends up getting the winner now. Famous last words and all that jazz. Moving swiftly on.

The Leudo Effect

Apart from the opening stages of the FC Goa game, Leudo has acted as the single pivot in front of the NorthEast back line, with Rowllin Borges playing slightly ahead of him. He averages 40.5 passes per game; arguably his standout performance came in that incredible game against Chennaiyin. Take a look at his passing-link map and try not to be impressed.

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Leudo is an integral part of NorthEast’s system.

As you can see from the average position of the players, Leudo (#6) essentially becomes a third centre-back as Robin (#12) and Robert (#19) play slightly ahead of the Colombian. Also, is as apparent by Borges (#14) position, you can see that despite Borges operating slightly behind him, they still, pretty much, work in tandem with one another.

Last time out, NorthEast were unfortunate to drop points at home to Jamshedpur as the straight red card for Mislav Komorski on the stroke of halftime changed the dynamic of the game.

If Komorksi Stayed On The Pitch, They Would’ve Won

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How much will NorthEast rue that red card come the end of the season?

A bold statement, literally. That being said, you only have to look at the graph to see what way the game was going before he got sent off. NorthEast took a while to get a foothold against Cesar Ferrando’s side, but as is evidenced above, they got the goal without having too much of the ball, then started to dominate. It was only when Jamshedpur found themselves with a numerical advantage that they got back into the game. In the end, perhaps a draw was a fair result.

Delhi’s ‘Leudo’ Is A Defender

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Crespi has almost too much of an influence on the way that Delhi play.

The home side’s equivalent of Jose Leudo at the moment is Martin Crespi, which is a problem for a couple of reasons. For starters, it was Vinit Rai a couple of weeks ago, however, Gombau’s tendency to chop and change the side means it’s been nigh on impossible for Rai to get a run in the side. In turn, this means that Crespi has been the busiest player on the pitch as illustrated by the above. In contrast to NorthEast’s average positions, the defence are left somewhat exposed by the midfield and if Gallego can find space between the lines, he and Ogbeche, in particular, could have a field day against Delhi Dynamos.

Team News

Delhi & Gombau have a full complement to pick from which will more than likely see the introduction of Marcos Tebar to their starting XI. In the away dugout, Schattorie has a settled side with just one decision to make. Who will replace the suspended Komorski? In all likelihood it will probably be Gurwinder which begs the question, will we see another foreigner brought in further up the pitch? Decisions, decisions.


All in all, this should result in three points for NorthEast United, however, Schattorie may well have done Gombau’s team talk for him after saying that he would have this Delhi side in the top three. It certainly wasn’t meant as a dig at Pep Gombau, nonetheless, it could definitely be taken as one which Gombau will use to fire his team up with. An interesting 90 minutes of action awaits.

Until the next time.