The Indian Super League (ISL) season 4 is all set to kick-off on Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi with last year’s finalists ATK and Kerala Blasters locking horns. ATK will look to defend their title after having clicnhed their second trophy in three years. Blasters, on the other hand, have been unlucky to not have won the title even after reaching the final twice in three seasons and will be desperate for redemption.
It is a brand new avatar of the league as the tenure has increased from two months to four. Two new teams have been added. Tata Group’s Jamshedpur FC make their debut in ISL as well as in Indian football along with former I-League giants Bengaluru FC who have also joined the cash-rich league.
Ahead of a brand new season of the ISL, let us take a quick look at the list of players who will be missed by their respective teams in the opening round due to injuries
Defending champions ATK have the biggest injury crisis among all the other franchises. The side from Kolkata will miss three important players in the first few weeks. Marquee signing and captain Robbie Keane has a Achilles injury and will be available only in December.
Promising young Indian attacker Jayesh Rane had confirmed that he has a knee injury and is expected to be back in action after two weeks.
The third player on the injury list of ATK is Carl Baker who has been ruled out of action due to an Achilles tendon injury.
New entrants Bengaluru FC will miss the service of Lalthuammawia Ralte in the first match against Mumbai City FC. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will replace injured goalkeeper under the bar. Gurpreet ideally could have played only after five matches if all the three custodians were fit as he was signed outside the ISL players draft. But with Ralte’s knock, Sandhu is now free to start for the Blues.
Influential midfielder Dimas Delgado has been ruled out for at least four matches after he picked up a toe injury in the pre-season friendly against Minerva FC. Zohmingliana Ralte too has been sidelined becaise of an injury.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC will miss the services of Indian duo Balwant Singh and Aiborlang Khongjee due to injuries. India international striker Balwant Singh suffered an ankle injury during the pre-season and will possibly miss the opening tie. Aiborlang has been ruled out for at least three-to-four matches.
Spanish striker Adrian Colunga is likely to miss their opening match against Chennaiyin FC due to an injury. The Spaniard has a strain in his right calf. Colunga did not play in their practice matches in India against Mohun Bagan and Chennai City FC.
NorthEast United FC
India international Rowllin Borges will miss the first match of the season due to a knee injury. Rowllin has been suffering from the injury for quite some time and he even missed out on playing India’s AFC Asian Cup qualifying match against Myanmar on Tuesday. The club have confirmed that the injury is not serious and he does not have an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury.
FC Pune City
Promising Indian winger Kean Lewis will be missing a couple of matches for FC Pune City as he is recovering from an injury.