Behind closed doors and with a raft of health safety measures in place, football’s Indian Super League (ISL) will kick off here on Friday and become the country’s first major tournament to be organised since the enforcement of a COVID-19 lockdown eight months ago.
ATK Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters will start the proceedings with what is expected to be a blockbuster clash at the GMC Stadium here. But the season’s first biggest game will undoubtedly be the one between ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal in Fatorda on November 27, the two heavyweights renewing their more-than-a-century-old rivalry in a new avatar.
ATK Mohun Bagan, playing in their first tournament after the merger of last season champion sides of ISL and I-League into one club, will start as the frontrunner for the title in the seventh edition of the lucrative franchise-based tournament. They have roped in some quality players like star India defender Sandesh Jhingan while retaining the core of last season champions ATK side such as Fijian international Roy Krishna who was on rampage against opposition defences.