2015-16 I-League Round 17: Will the Blues reign Supreme Again?

ArsenalFan700ArsenalFan700 Reddit13640 Points
edited April 2016 in I-League 2015-16
I am back! Fine, I may not have the tactical nuance you would want from a preview or whatever else you want but who cares, this is what I started and damn hell am I going to let it go. Anyway, what is the best time to come back than the second to last round, when things are really becoming spicier than the Chili I had last night (seriously, never trust a non-Spaniard to make Chili)? Will we see our champions crowned this round or will we be forced to wait till the last round like last season? Will the relegation race be settled here as well? Only one way to find out! Watch the round!

We start the round on Friday when East Bengal host Sporting Clube de Goa in Kolkata. The Red and Gold will come into this match with a new coach, or a returning one I might add, in Trevor Morgan. The English-Australian will only take over the team during the Federation Cup next month. Till then, East Bengal will be under the eye of assistant coaches, Debjit Ghosh and Sanjay Majhi. East Bengal are technically not out of the race yet for the I-League title but realistically, you have to say they should be preparing for the Federation Cup now. Sporting Clube de Goa will be in a similar situation. With no chance for the title and pretty much safe from relegation, the Orange will enter with barely to no pressure at all on them.

Saturday will also see just one match in the league with DSK Shivajians playing Aizawl. DSK Shivajians basically have nothing to play for with no relegation at all and no chance for the title but Aizawl will be desperate to see that they are safe from relegation. Tied on 13 points with Mumbai FC, the Mizoram club are only ahead due to h-2-h results. A win on the road would pretty much guarantee the sides survival in what has been a topsy turvy season for them.

Sunday could be the day, the day we see the champions crowned. Bengaluru FC will host Salgaocar, knowing that only a win will mean they win the I-League for the second time in the three season history. Bengaluru FC have been very impressive as of late, not losing a single I-League match since their 13 February defeat to Mohun Bagan, the current champions. Since that defeat, Ashley Westwood's men have won four of their six matches and have scored in each of them. Salgaocar on the other hand have done a resurgence under Santosh Kashyap somewhat. The Green Machine have gone undefeated throughout March and now April but have had luck on their side in that all but one of those games were away from home. Darryl Duffy, their main striker, is supposedly out for the clash which will favor Bengaluru FC heavily. Will it make the difference? Can Salgaocar upset the party or can Bengaluru FC win the title in front of their home fans finally?

Of course that is not the only game going on Sunday. Mumbai will host Shillong Lajong in a relegation battle match. Winner could probably count themselves as safe (depending on the result for Aizawl and maybe Salgaocar) but the loser can pretty much say they are 33%-66% relegated. Can Khalid Jamil's men pull off the impossible or will it be Thangboi Singto who gets the last laugh here?

All and all, this is set to be a very exciting round of the I-League and an even more exciting conclusion to a great season! While the ISL has pierced our hearts, the I-League has kept the drama going and that is what makes it appealing to anyone who loves Indian football. Will we see the trophy return to Bangalore? Will Mumbai see their fate? It all becomes clear, maybe, in this round of the Hero I-League!

Friday, 15 April 2016:
- East Bengal vs. Sporting Goa (Barasat Stadium; 19:05).

Saturday, 16 April 2016:
- DSK Shivajians vs. Aizawl (Balewadi Sports Complex; 19:05).

Sunday, 17 April 2016:
- Mumbai vs. Shillong Lajong (Cooperage Ground; 19:00).
- Bengaluru FC vs. Salgaocar (Sree Kanteerava Stadium; 19:05).

Bye: Mohun Bagan.

MJ Song of the Week: Butterflies (Invincible)
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