I-League 2018-19: Key talking points from this week's fixtures
The I-League is in full swing, and the league table is in an intense position right now, with the first and the sixth teams only eight points apart from each other.
Chennai City are the table-toppers with 27 points from 12 matches, while Churchill and Real Kashmir are second and third respectively with 22 points each.
Here're important points from this week's I-League matches.
East Bengal remain at sixth spot after losing to Chennai
East Bengal had an opportunity to equal their points tally with Churchill and Kashmir with a match in hand, but squandered their chance by losing 2-1 to Chennai.
They remain at the sixth place with 19 points, and must win their match next week against Indian Arrows to keep their hopes alive.
Chennai, on the other hand, are now table-toppers with a five-point lead.
Things not looking that good for Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan are currently fifth on the league table with 21 points.
However, the worrying factor is that they've taken 13 matches to reach this position and might not sit there for long.
Arch-rivals East Bengal already have 19 points after playing just 11 matches.
Bagan did win against NEROCA this week, but it hardly helps in their race for the top three spots.
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Defending champions Minerva Punjab have fallen behind
The defending champions of the I-League, Minerva Punjab, have fallen behind in an astonishing fashion this term, managing only 13 points from 12 matches so far.
They've lost matches against Real Kashmir, Churchill Brothers and even twice to Mohun Bagan.
Paul Munster's men next face ninth-placed Gokulam on January 19, a match they should ideally win.
Real Kashmir are showing great promise in their debut season
Real Kashmir have been the surprise package this term, and considering that this is their first season in India's top-flight football, the north Indian side have been wonderful.
They've won against previous I-League champions Mohun Bagan and Aizawl, and even thrashed Shillong Lajong 6-1 at home.
Their draw this week in the away fixture against Aizawl has restrained them from laying claim to the second spot.
NEROCA could have gone temporarily at par with table-toppers Chennai
NEROCA suffered a 1-0 defeat against Mohun Bagan at Kolkata this week, and thus was stopped short of equaling points with table-toppers Chennai City, who then had 24 points.
NEROCA are currently fourth on the league table with 21 points, and face a tough challenge in the shape of Churchill Brothers on January 19.
In contrast, close competitors East Bengal and Real Kashmir face easier opponents.
Chennai City FC
Real Kashmir FC
Arch-rivals East Bengal
Shillong Lajong 6-1
Most asked questions
Who is the highest scorer in the I-League this term?
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Will the I-League and ISL merge in future?
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Why have East Bengal not managed any I-League win yet?
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Who are the likely winners of this season?
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