A battle between two former champions and table toppers headlines the fixtures.

After the international break, the Indian Super League has moved into overdrive as the teams have slowly started to find their rhythm. The league seems to be more competitive this season, with the underperformers of the previous campaign shining through this time around, while the big guns are yet to fire. However, things could change fast in what is set to be a busy week in the league, as clubs aim to stake an early claim in the playoffs spot.

Delhi Dynamos Vs Chennaiyin FC

Date & Venue: 23rd October/ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 3, Star Sports 3 HD &Hotstar.

Delhi Dynamos haven’t been able to earn a victory yet despite many attempts. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to repay their loyal fans and stun the struggling Chennaiyin FC to finally get three points on the board. Chennaiyin will find motivation from  ATK attaining their first win of the season against the Delhi outfit and will want to repeat that result. They came close to winning against NorthEast United, but need to be solid defensively and be on the attack to earn a triumph they desperately need.

The defending champions have struggled in the past against Delhi, who’ve won four out of the eight times these two teams have played in the ISL. Chennaiyin have only won one, with three games ending up as stalemates.

The Dynamos should retain their 4-2-3-1 formation on Tuesday and could bring in Nandhakumar Sekar for Romeo Fernandes, who was quite underwhelming against Kerala Blasters. The Lions will want to penetrate through the wings and hope the pace of Lallianzuala Chhangte and clinical finishing from Adrija Kaludjerovic can get them rewards.

Both teams are in desperate need of a win and will look for their attacking players to fire

Nothing has worked well for John Gregory so far this season and he’ll look to bring back Jeje Lalpekhlua and Gregory Nelson into his team against Delhi. Chennaiyin should stick with their 4-2-3-1 formation, but will hope that the dazzling, clinical football displayed last campaign will return in the capital to earn them a much-needed victory.

Chhangte hasn’t hit top-gear yet for Delhi Dynamos, but he should relish his chances against a vulnerable Chennaiyin defence. The defending champions haven’t kept a single clean-sheet yet and the winger will aim to use his blistering pace and trickery to cause nightmares for Inigo Calderon on Tuesday.

Raphael Augusto has been Chennaiyin’s go-to man in attack for the past few seasons now and needs to do something special to inspire the ditched bunch. Augusto hasn’t been that great this time out, but has the ability to create or score goals and win games on his own for the defending champions.

FC Goa Vs Mumbai City FC

Date & Venue: 24th October/ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD &Hotstar.

FC Goa played some good football at home last season and will aim to continue that by brushing aside Mumbai City to pick up another win. The Islanders finally got a crucial win against FC Pune City, which gave them the momentum heading into some difficult fixtures. They’ll look to maintain the momentum and know that any points gained in Goa will be precious.

Mumbai City hold the advantage in the head-to-head record, as they’ve won three out of the eight times they’ve faced Goa so far. The Gaurs have won twice, while three other games have been goalless draws.

FC Goa will retain the 4-2-3-1 formation, which has worked really well under coach Sergio Lobera so far. They have quite a formidable attack and will hope the likes of Ferran Corominas, Edu Bedia and Jackichand Singh can weave their magic.

Both teams will look to build on their previous wins against Chennaiyin and Pune City respectively

Mumbai City will probably not change their lineup too much after the win against Pune and will retain their own 4-3-3 formation. They’ve been a dangerous side on the counter-attack and will need the clinical Modou Sougou and Rafael Bastos to come up with the goods upfront. 

Jackichand Singh will be aiming to make a big impact in his first home game as an FC Goa player. He’s looked as lively as ever in Lobera’s system and caused some serious problems for his opponents so far.

Sougou looks like Mumbai City’s biggest attacking threat this season and was in fine form on Friday. His terrific movement, clinical finishing and trickery with the ball makes him a difficult man to contain.

NorthEast United FC Vs Jamshedpur FC

Date & Venue: 25th October/ Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD &Hotstar.

NorthEast United have had a solid start to the season, with their comeback victory against Chennaiyin the other day displaying their never-say-die attitude. The Highlanders will aim to continue that momentum and pick up their first win at home against the sturdy Jamshedpur FC. The Tim Cahill-led side have also had a bright start, but face a big test against the dangerous Highlanders.

These two sides met twice last season, with one game being won by Jamshedpur and the one in Guwahati being a goalless draw.

The Men of Steel face a difficult trip to the high-flying Highlanders

NorthEast United will retain their 4-2-3-1 formation, which has been doing wonders for them so far this season. The Highlanders will again look for the chemistry between Federico Gallego and Barthamolew Ogbeche to do the work for them upfront, but will need to improve defensively to shut out Cahill & Co.

Jamshedpur will also operate in similar fashion as the 4-2-3-1 formation is working well for them as well. Cahill will look to inspire his team and spearhead the attack, as the Men of Steel’s proficient foreigners and promising domestic talent have done them good so far. 

Federico Gallego has been pulling the strings for NorthEast so far and has impressed in the past few games. He was prolific in their comeback win the other day and has the ability to setup and finish goals.

Michael Soosairaj is yet to hit top gear for Jamshedpur, but has lots of potential to come good for them. With NorthEast’s defense finding it difficult to contain clever players like him, Soosairaj can use his intelligent movement and foxy nature in the final third to introduce himself in style to the ISL.

ATK Vs Chennaiyin FC

Date & Venue: 26th October/ Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD &Hotstar.

ATK have had a real topsy-turvy start to their season, but recent away results have come as encouragement for them. This clash of the only two ISL champions will be a crucial one for both. 

Out of the 10 times the pair have faced each other, ATK and Chennaiyin have both won three games apiece. The four other games have been draws, with clashes between these two teams often being tight affairs.

ATK will continue to play with their 4-2-3-1 formation, but their injury issues mean that Everton Santos might be played again in central midfield. The Kolkata side will hope that Manuel Lanzarote can pull the strings for them and create something special against Chennaiyin. Kalu Uche and Balwant Singh will also look to put their clinical finishing to good use, while Komal Thatal will aim to impress on the wings.

Clashes between these two teams have often been tight affairs

Chennaiyin will definitely bring Jeje Lalpekhlua into the lineup because of his prolific record at the Salt Lake Stadium. They will continue to stick to their 4-2-3-1 formation, but might peg more men into the midfield in order to neutralize Lanzarote’s threat. Germanpreet Singh could also feature, as the southerners will look to hit ATK on the counter.

Lanzarote finally got his first goal for ATK with a whirling corner-kick against Jamshedpur. Despite playing quite deep, his knack of finding that killer-ball and set-piece specialty makes him the team’s most potent attacker. 

Lalpekhlua has a lot of experience playing against ATK and will look to kick-start his season at style at his old hunting ground. The Mizo Sniper’s foxy instincts in the box and creative ability are well-known and he’ll look to terrorize the shaky ATK defence on Friday.

Mumbai City FC Vs Delhi Dynamos

Date & Venue: 27th October/ Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai.

Time & Broadcast: 07:30 PM/ Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD &Hotstar.

Mumbai City had a blast last time they played at the Mumbai Football Arena and will look to further improve their ground as an impenetrable fortress this season. The Islanders have looked bright playing at home this season and will seek another win to climb up the table.

Delhi Dynamos, on the other hand, have been very topsy-turvy on the road and have relied on sparks of individual brilliance to get results. An away win can do a lot of good for their confidence and give them the momentum needed to lodge a top four challenge.

Mumbai hold the advantage over Delhi in the head-to-head record, having won three out of the eight games they’ve played. The Lions have won two games, while three have been draws.

The Islanders will definitely go with the 4-3-3 formation which worked so well against Pune City the other day. The attacking trio of Sougou, Bastos and Arnold Issoko have worked well in tandem. They’ve also been complemented nicely by Mumbai’s hard-working midfield.

Mumbai have a strong record at home while Delhi are woeful on the road

Delhi Dynamos’ 4-2-3-1 formation is working really well for them, allowing Chhangte and Romeo Fernandes some width and freedom to roam forward. The Lions are yet to hit top gear this season, but have shown moments of brilliance with their pacy attackers. 

Bastos looked to be in top form against Pune City and got his first ISL goal with a  neat penalty. He has been helping Sogou find the areas in the final third and has himself been a menace all over the opponents’ penalty area.

Vinit Rai will play a big role if the Dynamos are to pull off a win on Saturday. The midfielder will face a tough test against Mumbai’s packed midfield and will need to be at his best to contain them.