I-League 2021-2022: 'Pan-Indian football' at its best

thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India25895 Points
edited December 2021 in I league
13 teams, 11 cities, three stadiums!!

The 15th season of the I-League is all set to kick off on December 26, 2021. Vying for the top honours would be 13 teams--Gokulam Kerala FC, Churchill Brothers  Mohammedan Sporting, Real Kashmir FC, Aizawl FC, RoundGlass Punjab FC, Neroca FC, TRAU FC, Sudeva Delhi FC, Indian Arrows and the three new entrants, Rajasthan United FC (winner of the I-League second division), Sreenidi Deccan FC and Kenkre FC. The pan-Indian presence of the League would be further enhanced with two new states in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh entering the fray in the form of the two clubs-Rajasthan United and Sreenidi Deccan, while Kenkre FC's entry would signify a return to footballing action in Maharashtra after four years. Like the previous season, all the matches would be played in a bio-bubble exclusively in three venues in West Bengal this time--Kalyani Municipality Stadium (Kalyani), Mohun Bagan Ground (Kolkata) and Naihati Stadium (Naihati). All the matches would be broadcast live on 1Sports, which will also live-stream the games.

Over the years, the I-League has become more unpredictable with "underdogs" like Gokulam Kerala, Chennai City, RoundGlass Punjab and Aizawl FC piping the so-called heavyweights to emerge champions in recent years. This year too the I-League promises to go down to the wire. Last year's champion Gokulam Kerala will once gain be one of the favourites but they will be challenged by the likes of Real Kashmir, fresh from their IFA Shield exploits, two-times champions Churchill Brothers and Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting, who have won the CFL after 40 years and reached the final of the Durand Cup. RoundGlass Punjab, coached by two-time I-League winning coach Ashley Westwood and boasting a number of I-League veterans and some impressive foreign signings, will be one of the dark horses of the tournament. Rajasthan United, winner of the I-League second division, have recruited a number of exciting Indian talents and some impressive foreign signings like ISL Golden Boot winner Marcelinho and Komron Tursunov, while TRAU FC and Sreenidi Deccan's recent performances have shown that they would be no pushovers. The likes of Aizawl FC, Neroca FC, Sudeva Delhi and Indian Arrows too would be desperate to make up for the poor performance in the last season.

The league will commence with the "Boxing Day dhamaka": TRAU FC locking horns with Indian Arrows at 2:00 p.m. (Mohun Bagan Ground) followed by two matches on the same day--Gokulam Kerala vs Churchill Brothers at 4:30 p.m. (KMS) and RoundGlass Punjab vs Rajasthan United at 7:30 p.m (KMS). Brace yourselves guys, 'real' Indian football is on!!

This thread is to discuss all activities--team news, I-League matches , post-match analysis--except those related to transfer.

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