With three to four games remaining for every team and as many as seven sides still in contention for the playoff spots, this has definitely been the most competitive ISL season ever. We look at the possible scenarios and what each team needs to finish in the top four by the end of the league stage.
After yet another perfect start to their campaign reflective of their debut ISL season, where they had reached 40 points, the Blues have seemingly taken their foot off the pedal now. They have played four matches since the league has resumed after the international break, winning one, drawing one, and losing twice. However, they are still in no danger of ruining their playoff qualification chances. With three more matches to play and their immediate competitor Mumbai city FC, four points off them, Sunil Chhetri and company wouldn’t be bothered as sealing a playoff berth and now
Mumbai City FC
The Islanders have been the most improved team by far compared to their finish last season as well as their early few displays this season. Under Jorge Costa, the side could easily be credited to have the second most lethal
With 25 points already in the bag, the Gaurs are hopeful of playing a second successive playoff in ISL this season. 30 is being considered the safe mark to seal a
With the last two results against Bengaluru FC and Delhi Dynamos not going their way, fourth-placed NorthEast United have kept the race for the last two playoff spots wide open. They have three matches remaining against Mumbai City, Pune City, and Kerala Blasters and they could still fancy a third-placed finish if they win all of them, which would see them finish with 33 points. NorthEast’s immediate threat is Jamshedpur, whom Eelco Schattorie’s men don’t play this season anymore. However, with just one point separating the two teams and three matches remaining for them both, the race for the fourth place would go right down to the wire. However, with NorthEast yet to play Mumbai, a resurgent Pune City, and reformative Kerala Blasters, NorthEast’s job is also far from easy.
A gritty win over Mumbai City FC saw Jamshedpur coming back to life after a defeat against ATK on the match prior to that. The Steelers would play Pune City, Chhenaiyin FC, and Bengaluru FC and even a win in all three wouldn’t guarantee them a playoff spot. They would reach 32 points at most, a threshold all the current top four sides- NorthEast United, FC Goa, Mumbai and Bengaluru FC would cross if they happen to win all their remaining matches. And the fact that Jamshedpur
Steve Coppell must be ruing his fortune after an unlikely scorer in Robin Singh prevented the two-time champions from sealing a win away against FC Pune City. With the side running out of games thick and fast, ATK
FC Pune City
Phil Brown had emphasized time and again since he was appointed the manager that Pune needed to win all six of their games in order to see any sort of miracles. And with that plan thwarted by ATK in their last game only indicates that they are almost out of contention for playoffs. Winning their next four games would only take Pune to 27 points, something both NEUFC and Jamshedpur would easily cross if they win their remaining games. While the Highlanders need three points to reach 27, the Steelers need four, and ATK
Another forgettable season for Kerala comes to an end as they are trying to undergo massive changes right at the end of the chaotic season. Though Nelo Vingada’s appointment seemed to bring some sort of composure, it has come too late with the yellow brigade very much out of the playoff contention. With only 11 points in the bag, Kerala would, at max, get to a tally of 20 points, something sixth-placed ATK already have.
Sitting right at the bottom of the table after bagging eight points off 15 games the Marina Machans, who are also the defending champions, were out of the playoffs even before the playoffs spot. With John Gregory losing complete track of what has gone wrong with his side this time, Chennaiyin
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