2016 ISL Week 1 Discussion Thread

You may love it, you may hate it but man, it is back. The Indian Super League returns for its third season on 1 October and anyone who is a fan of Indian football should be excited! New marquee players, new coaches, new foreigners, and even some new Indian faces will soon grace our presence and fight it out over 14 matches each to see who can eventually qualify for the finals and then soon, the championship itself. Big names such as Helder Postiga, Diego Forlan, Florent Malouda, and Aaron Hughes will rub shoulders with top Indian footballers such as Arnab Mondal, Sunil Chhetri, Kean Lewis, and Sandesh Jhingan. Coaches such as Steve Coppell, Alexandre Guimaraes, and Nelo Vingada will excite us from the benches as well and hopefully make this ISL the most memorable one yet (and hopefully the last one under this format).

The season kicks off on Saturday with NorthEast United hosting Kerala Blasters. Both teams will be hoping to fix problems that plagued their teams last season which saw them both miss out on the finals. Both teams are also under new coaches and have new marquee players (Didier Zakora and Aaron Hughes) and both have a decent Indian group as well which will make this match a good opener for the league.

The second match will take place on Sunday with 2014's ISL champion Atletico de Kolkata hosting the reigning champions, Chennaiyin FC, at the newly refurbished Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. ATK will be hoping for revenge this match as it was Chennaiyin who knocked out Kolkata last season in the finals semi-final. Chennaiyin FC, on the other hand, will look to continue from their success from last year under Marco Materazzi. They will have to do so though without their two main men, Elano and Steven Mendoza.

The ISL festival continues on Monday with the Maharashtra derby, or the derby of the two underwhelming teams in ISL, when FC Pune City host Mumbai City. Mumbai City will come in as favorites, what with their amazing group of foreigners this season. FC Pune City meanwhile will be under new coaching leadership, with Antonio Habas coming from Kolkata. Will the Spaniard change the fortunes for the Stallions or will MCFC show off their new foreign arsenal in style? Tuesday will see NorthEast United playing their second game of the week against last season ISL finalists FC Goa. The Goan side, under new ownership this season, have retained both their coach and marquee player, Zico and Lucio respectively, and will be out for vengeance this season.

Wednesday sees the Kerala Blasters return home against Atletico de Kolkata, in a rematch of the 2014 Indian Super League final. Mohammed Rafique, the newly signed Blaster, will feel weird for this one after he scored the winning goal for Kolkata in that match. Thursday features the champions Chennaiyin FC return home against season debutants Delhi Dynamos. Dynamos are also under leadership, with former Italian international Gianluca Zambrotta now heading the side. Florent Malouda returns as marquee player. Chennaiyin should be favorites here but Zambrotta's side could create a surprise.

The week ends with Mumbai City hosting their first match of the season against NorthEast United, who will be playing their third match of the week! How they will cope with that against Mumbai, away from home, will be interesting to see. Mumbai will have had 4 days rest coming in, compared to NorthEast's 3.

So there you have it. Not much of a preview considering no games have been played. Simple previews and nothing more. So where do we see things come the end of week 1? Comment below.
munna219777AshishKaulgaffertapedebarghya89kartik91footydipred_devilCarbon_14deepuamirsid123and 5 others.


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