Indian Super League, season 6: Everything you need to know
The sixth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) starts from Sunday, October 20 onwards. Kerala Blasters take on ATK at home to begin the proceedings. There is a lot of excitement this term after ISL was promoted as India's premier football division as per the recent AFC road map. Here is the season preview and much more.
Crucial points to jolt down ahead of the new season
The sixth edition will have 10 teams battling it out for the coveted prize. Notably, Delhi Dynamos have been christened as Odisha FC. Meanwhile, FC Pune City was closed down and Hyderabad FC have come in to take its place. Defending champions Bengaluru FC and FC Goa go into the tournament as the favorites. Meanwhile, two-time champions ATK look the strongest on paper.
ISL 6: This is the format set to be witnessed
Notably, every matchday will consist of a single match. The matches will start at 7:30 PM IST. Each team will play against the other on two occasions (home and away). So there will be 18 matches in total for a club in the competition. Following the league standings, the four top teams will progress to the semi-final stage.
League leaders will earn AFC Champions League spot
ISL's elevation to the top also grants them the AFC Champions League spot. The spot was previously reserved for the I-League, which had been India's top division for the past 23 years. The continental slot will however be granted to the ISL league toppers and not winners. This will see teams getting the opportunity to fight for much more than just the trophy.
Bengaluru FC and FC Goa are the favorites to win
Bengaluru FC and FC Goa are the favorites to emerge champions this season. They were the two finalists last term and both sides are in a familiar zone. These two have retained their core strength and will be eyeing consistency as the league progresses. Bengaluru FC topped the league standings ahead of the semis in the last two seasons. They have been highly entertaining.
Teams, TV listing and today's match
The teams set to feature this season are, Bengaluru FC, ATK, Chennaiyin FC, NorthEast United, Mumbai City FC, Kerala Blasters, Jamshedpur FC, FC Goa, Hyderabad FC and Odisha FC. The ISL will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network and can be streamed on Hotstar. Sunday sees Kerala Blasters taking on ATK in Kochi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.