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ISL 2021-22: Which team needs what to make the playoffs?

Published at :February 20, 2022 at 11:17 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Rajdeep Saha

The race for a top-four berth is a closely contested one.

As we reach the fag end of the ISL 2021-22 campaign, the fight for the playoffs intensifies. For many clubs, this season has been one of two halves. Some started poorly and brought themselves back into contention, while others have just drifted off. With 18 matches left to be played in this edition of the Indian Super League, the battle for playoffs berths will go down to the wire.

So, Khel Now brings you a detailed, yet simplified look into the possibilities each club has in terms of making the ISL 2021-22 playoffs and inching closer to the championship.

Jamshedpur FC

Jamshedpur FC vs Mumbai City FC
Jamshedpur FC are on course to make the playoffs for the first time (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Remaining Matches: Remaining Matches: Odisha FC (Mar 4) & ATK Mohun Bagan (Mar 7)

Owen Coyle’s side have been phenomenal in ISL 2021-22 and have rightfully become the second team to secure a place in the final four. They are currently on top of the points table and have two games in hand. With the playoffs now confirmed, Jamshedpur FC need only one win from their remaining two matches to secure the top spot and qualify for the AFC Champions League.

Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC Goa
Hyderabad FC are on top of the points table (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Remaining Matches: Mumbai City FC (Mar 5)

With their win over Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad FC became the first team to secure qualification into the playoffs this ISL season. But a massive COVID outbreak in the camp and the subsequent defeat to Jamshedpur FC had dented their chances of topping the standings and clinching the league shield.

The Nizams have already assured a place in the playoffs, but are now dependent on Jamshedpur FC dropping points to top the standings. For Hyderabad FC to finish at the summit, they will have to beat defending champions Mumbai City FC in their final league game and also hope Jamshedpur FC take only one point from their remaining two games. ATK Mohun Bagan also must drop points in one of their two games, ideally against Chennaiyin FC.

ATK Mohun Bagan

Remaining Matches: Chennaiyin FC (Mar 3) & Jamshedpur FC (Mar 7)

After a rocky start to the season, the Mariners have certainly bounced back and brought themselves amongst the top contesting teams in the league. Despite coming in at the middle of the season, head coach Juan Ferrando has done a fairly good job and is unbeaten in 14 matches with ATK Mohun Bagan. The Kolkata-based side have two games remaining against Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC.

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Currently, third-placed with 34 points, they need only one point to secure a top-four finish. Anything else and they will have to hope for Mumbai City FC or Kerala Blasters to drop points, to make the playoffs.

Kerala Blasters

Remaining Matches: FC Goa (Mar 6)

Their win over Mumbai City have put Kerala Blasters in fourth place. Ivan Vukomanovic's men are also two points clear of Mumbai City and need only a point against FC Goa in their final game to secure a playoffs spot. With a little luck and three points against the Gaurs, Kerala Blasters could also end up anywhere between second and fourth depending on other results.

Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City Odisha FC
Mumbai City will need favour from other teams to make the playoffs (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Remaining Matches: Hyderabad FC (Mar 5)

Mumbai's defeat to Kerala Blasters in their penultimate game have all but ended their hopes of finishing in the top four. A faint chance remains, but they would need to beat Hyderabad FC and hope Kerala Blasters lose to FC Goa in their final match. The only other way Des Buckingham's side makes the playoffs is if ATK Mohun Bagan lose both of their remaining games and they win against Hyderabad FC.

Bengaluru FC

Remaining Matches: SC East Bengal (Mar 5)

Their defeat to ATK Mohun Bagan in their previous match, ended Bengaluru FC's aim of sneaking into the playoffs. They are at sixth place with 26 points from 19 matches and will finish there irrespective of the result in their final game.

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Odisha FC

Remaining Matches: Jamshedpur FC (Mar 4)

Their defeat to Bengaluru FC virtually ended Odisha's chance of making the playoffs. They were further held by ATK Mohun Bagan meaning whatever little hopes remained had vanished. Like, Bengaluru FC, Odisha are at seventh and will finish there.

Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC NorthEast United
Chennaiyin FC have struggled for results this season (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Remaining Matches: ATK Mohun Bagan (Mar 3)

Chennaiyin FC are already out of contention and must focus on finishing the season on a high. They are currently on a seven-match winless run and will want to put a halt to that against ATK Mohun Bagan. With the Mariners, still in the playoffs race, Chennaiyin FC could deal a heavy blow with a win.

FC Goa, NorthEast United FC, SC East Bengal

Likewise, FC Goa will also want to finish their campaign on a high after a disappointing season. They are at ninth and play Kerala Blasters in their final game. A win against the Blasters will help Goa pip Chennaiyin FC to eighth place. Although not any achievement, they would want to finish as high as they can on the points table.

It has been a season to forget for Khalid Jamil and his men. They became the first team to finish their campaign after a 1-1 draw against SC East Bengal in their last match, which assured the Highlanders a 10th place finish.

SC East Bengal will finish this season at the bottom of the points table. The draw to NorthEast United confirmed their position in the table. Mario Rivera's side face Bengaluru FC in their final match of ISL 2021-22 in a dead-rubber clash.

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