After a gap of five months, the Indian football domestic season is back in action as the Indian Super League (ISL) season four is all set to kick-start in less than two weeks.
The ISL has been restructured this season as they welcome two new sides in Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC. The Tata Group's Jamshedpur FC are a new franchise while Bengaluru FC have won the I-League in the past.
After completely dominating the I-League in their first four seasons of existence, they will now begin their journey in the ISL for bigger and better challenges.
Here are the top five matches which you shouldn't miss out on:
Kerala Blasters vs ATK (November 17th, Kochi)
These two sides have clashed twice in the final of ISL in 2014 and 2016 and on both occasions, the Kolkata franchise emerged victorious. The final of 2016 edition of the ISL was held at the same venue making this game a revenge fixture of sorts for the Men in Yellow. Who will come out on top in front of what is said to be a sell out in Kochi?
The finalists of ISL 2015 lock horns on November 19th in Chennai at the Marina Arena. Since that ill-fated final of the 2015 edition of the tournament, FC Goa have seen a change of ownership. Chennaiyin FC won the title last time around but like FC Goa, had a forgetful outing in the last edition of the ISL. This time both franchises will be keen to start on a positive note.
Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai FC (November 19th, Bengaluru)
The second Super Sunday clash on November 19th between Bengaluru FC and Mumbai City FC promises to be a cracker of a game as the Kanteerava Stadium witnesses its first ever ISL game. It will be interesting to see how JSW-owned club fare in the ISL. Also, Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh would play against their former team as will be the case for Amrinder Singh, who is the most expensive Indian goalkeeper in the ISL.
Kerala Blasters vs Jamshedpur FC (November 24th, Kochi)
This will be a special match for Jamshedpur FC coach Steve Coppell who will be going back to Kochi to face his former side. The former Manchester City gaffer was in charge of the Yellow Brigade last season and almost guided them to their maiden title.
Kerala have brought in former Manchester United assistant coach Rene Meulensteen to replace Coppell. Interestingly, several former Kerala Blasters players and personnel have joined the Jharkhand side. Kervens Belfort, Farukh Choudhary and Mehtab Hossain have joined the new ISL side along with Ishfaq Ahmed who will serve the club as their assistant coach.
FC Pune City vs Mumbai City FC (November 29th, Pune)
The two clubs from Maharashtra will come face-to-face on November 24th in the season’s first Maha-Derby. This is the only derby match in the ISL and is bound the grab several eyeballs.