The week will also see the likes of NorthEast United and Mumbai City take on their respective opponents to keep pushing for the playoffs spots. 

Following an eventful International break, the Indian Super League is back with some crunch games. Headlined by the war between the top two in FC Goa and Bengaluru, the week will also see some other important fixtures for teams vying for the playoffs spot. Everyone wants to stay in a positive position before the Christmas break and thrilling encounters can be expected this week as well. Here’s our weekly preview for the ISL.

FC Pune City Vs Jamshedpur FC

Date & Venue: 21st November/ Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune.

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

FC Pune City shows signs of recovery against ATK, but are still pummelled at the bottom. With everyone surging ahead, they immediately need a win to motivate the players and steady their horribly derailing season. Jamshedpur FC have tough competition on their heels in the playoffs race and facing a vulnerable Stallions side, they’d want to get a dominating victory to surge ahead into a comfortable position.

The Stallions hold the advantage over Jamshedpur FC in head-to-head competition, having won both matches against the Steel City representatives last season.

FC Pune City are expected to make many changes after their loss to ATK. Diego Carlos and Marcelinho, now available after serving their suspensions, could start, while Iain Hume could also make his debut.

Jamshedpur FC will miss Tim Cahill, who is ruled out due to making his final appearance for Australia. They’ll continue with a similar set-up they had against Delhi, with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Jamshedpur will rely on their strong midfield to maintain possession and fluid football while hoping their budding youngsters cause Pune problems.

FC Goa Vs Bengaluru FC

Date & Venue: 22nd November/ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa.

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

It’s the top of the table clash in the ISL and both teams have much to gain and lose in this anticipated fixture. FC Goa can consolidate their lead at the top with a win, while Bengaluru could attain their biggest win of the season if they manage to pipe the Gaurs in their own yard.

FC Goa and Bengaluru have both won one match apiece in their two meetings so far in the ISL.

Both teams will put their best XI forward and FC Goa will put in their best against Bengaluru FC. Sergio Lobera will retain the 4-2-3-1 formation which is working wonders for him this season. FC Goa are fearless at home and will persist with their high-voltage attacking football which has caused nightmares for their opponents.

Bengaluru FC will be missing injured, Captain Sunil Chhetri. Kean Lewis could get a rare start as a result, as Carles Cuadrat will also counter with a 4-2-3-1 formation, which relays into a deep 4-3-3 at times. Bengaluru could sacrifice their possession football and play more on the counter-attack and set-pieces to gain something from the match.

NorthEast United FC Vs Kerala Blasters FC

Date & Venue: 23rd November/ Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati.

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

NorthEast United need to bounce back from the controversial defeat to Mumbai City FC and reassert themselves as title favorites. The Highlanders will look to regain their thrilling performance-level at home and prove that defeat was just an insignificant clog. Kerala Blasters are desperate for a win after falling further down in the playoffs race. David James is under pressure to get results and will need his boys to repeat the Islanders heroics and gain a vital win in Guwahati.

Kerala Blasters hold the advantage in the head-to-head record, having won five games against NorthEast United. The Highlanders have won only twice, while a single game’s been a draw.

NorthEast United will go with the same team which has done wonders for them so far. Their 4-2-3-1 formation has done great work, but Eelco Schattorie will hope that his players can regain their goal-scoring boots on top of playing some fast-paced, fluid football.

Kerala Blasters will also retain their 4-1-4-1 formation but hope their attacking core performs better. Blasters desperately need their attackers to score goals and will look to use their set-piece prowess to hurt the Highlanders.

Mumbai City FC Vs ATK

Date & Venue: 24th November/ Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai.

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

Mumbai City FC have gained quite an impressive momentum with their past few wins and will look to consolidate their promising run against ATK. The Islanders’ will look to entertain their fans with some thrilling football and win three more points. ATK bagged three important points against FC Pune City, but will now have to thwart their neighbors. With playoffs opportunity now looking realistic, ATK needs some wins to surge ahead and break into the top-4 before the Christmas break.

Mumbai City and ATK have won four-game apiece in their 10 ISL meetings, with only two games being stalemates.

Mumbai City will maintain the 4-3-3- formation which has worked so well for them. They might be perceived as a “defensive” unit, but their attacking trio has the pace, trickery and goal-scoring capability which can thrill the Islanders’ fans on Saturday.

Emiliano Alfaro might not get a start right from the get-go, as ATK will mostly stick to the 4-2-3-1 formation which won them the game against FC Pune City. ATK will hope their set-piece prowess and unpredictable attack can spark bright, while hope to be defensively rigid and attain another clean-sheet.


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Jamshedpur FC Vs Chennaiyin FC

Date & Venue: 25th November/ JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur.

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

Jamshedpur FC returns home three weeks after thrashing FC Goa and will look to do something similar against Chennaiyin FC. They know how unpredictable Chennaiyin are, but will look to play the dazzling, fast-paced passing football which ousted the Gaurs and overwhelm Chennaiyin as well. The defending champions need some wins under their belt to properly turn around their season and will take the game to Jamshedpur to win three crucial points.

Chennaiyin have won one game against Jamshedpur, incidentally last season at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, while the other game was a draw.

Jamshedpur FC should continue with their 4-2-3-1 formation, which has helped them reap rewards so far. They’ll hope to inert energy from their thunderous fan-support and play a high-octane, attacking football and gain another win at home.

Chennaiyin FC travels to Jamshedpur after a long layoff from their last match and having a rejuvenated side, they’ll look to trouble Jamshedpur. It’ll be difficult for them to hinder the heat of the furnace, but Chennaiyin’s set-piece prowess and impressive attacking talent could cause big problems for Jamshedpur and gain some important points.

Bengaluru FC Vs Delhi Dynamos

Date & Venue: 26th October/ Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru.

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

Bengaluru last played at home on 7th October. They’ll look to have a successful homecoming against the struggling Delhi Dynamos. Bengaluru will look to send their fans home happy by displaying some exquisite football. Delhi Dynamos, on the other hand, have shown impressive ability to wither the storm away from home. They almost won against Goa and will look to improve upon that outcome to silence Bengaluru at home and get a crucial win.

Bengaluru and Delhi won one game apiece last season in their two ISL meetings.

Bengaluru FC will mostly retain the team which plays against FC Goa against Delhi Dynamos, as they don’t want any complacency to set in. The Blues will retain a 4-2-3-1 formation, but will definitely pick up the pace and play a more attractive, attacking football which can entertain their fans.

Delhi Dynamo will continue with their 4-3-3 formation but need to pull out something special to gain points against the high-flying Bengaluru FC. They’ll have to be defensively solid and use the pace and trickery of their front-three to pressurize Bengaluru and get a precious win which can save Josep Gombau’s career managerial stint.