I-League 2018-19: Fixtures announced as Chennai City face Indian Arrows in opener

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Anselm Noronha/Goal
Coimbatore will play host to the first game of the twelfth season of India's top flight club football league...

The 2018-19 season of the I-League gets underway on 26 October with Chennai City facing the All India Football Federation (AIFF)'s development side Indian Arrows at the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore in a 5 PM IST kick-off.

Defending champions Minerva Punjab open their campaign two days later when they host Churchill Brothers at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Chandigarh, their new home ground on Sunday 28 October.

Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal both feature on the second day of the first round, on 27 October. East Bengal are away to NEROCA FC in Imphal and Mohun Bagan face an away trip to Gokulam Kerala FC in Kozhikode.

Shillong Lajong and Aizawl FC lock horns in a North-East India derby to complete the first round of fixtures. Newly-promoted side Real Kashmir FC only feature from the second round when they undertake a quick away trip to Minerva Punjab on 31 October.

The twelfth edition of the I-League will feature eleven teams and sees the addition of four new venues. Minerva Punjab shifts base to Chandigarh while Indian Arrows will play some of their games at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack and the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. Srinagar, in Jammu and Kashmir, the home of Real Kashmir FC also sees its first ever I-League game played on 6 November.

A total of 110 matches will be played across eleven rounds as the league eyes a tentative finish in the second week of March, right before the international break. Remarkably, all the matches won't be telecasted live while streaming shall be made available on the host broadcaster's online platform and mobile applications.

Unlike its counterpart, the Indian Super League (ISL), the I-League will have no break in the middle during the AFC Asian Cup which runs from 5 January to 1 February. India play their group stage games between 6 January and 14 January.

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