Indian Super League, Playoffs Betting Tips
Indian Super League 2021/22, Predictions and tips for each upcoming matchday. Full details for your sports bets.
Indian Super League 2021-2022 season
Indian Super League (ISL) came into formation in 2013 after IMG-Reliance, Star Sports and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) joined hands to launch a separate private league with the aim of making Indian football a commercially attractive product and ac as a separate event without any correlation with the then Indian top division, I-League. IMG-Reliance and Star Sports formed a joint consortium termed Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) as the organisers of the league.
FSDL had previously joined hands with the AIFF back in 2009 as the sole owner of Indian football media rights. The Master Rights Agreement (MRA) signed by AIFF and FSDL back in 2010 also allowed FSDL to start their own league in addition to the already present leagues like the I-League, i-League 2nd Division and Federation Cup. FSDL’s idea was to implement the model of the cricket franchise tournament Indian Premier League (IPL) with inspiration from the A-League and Major League Soccer. FSDL joined hands with the Premier League as league advisors.
The first season of the league was played from October to December 2014. The first edition had eight participating teams who bid for franchise rights of a particular city over the span of ten years. Atletico Madrid and Saurav Ganguly joined hands to pick up the rights of the Kolkata franchise, Sachin Tendulkar was part of the Kochi franchise, John Abraham bid for the Guwahati franchise while Ranbir Kapoor picked up the Mumbai franchise. Crickets MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli also were minority stakeholders in the Chennai and Goa franchises. At a glance, the eight franchises were Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi, Chennai, Goa, Mumbai, Pune and Kochi. However, the Chennai franchise was the result of Jindal Steel Works (JSW) withdrawing out of the original Bengaluru ISL franchise since they already owned Bengaluru FC in the I-League.
The eight teams were then launched as Atletico de Kolkata, NorthEast United FC, Delhi Dynamos FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, Mumbai City FC, FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters FC. Since the league was co-owned by Disney-owned Star Sports, the digital company went on to become the broadcasters of the league for the first ten year period till the end of the 2023-24 Indian football season.
The first three seasons of the league was outside the aegis of the Indian football pyramid and ran completely as a short privatised football tournament as promised. International football stars like Luis Garcia, Florent Malouda, David Trazequet, Alessandro Del Piero, Roberto Carlos, Lucio, Marco Materazzi, Diego Forlan, Dimitar Berbatov and Nicolas Anelka were among the many renowned names part of the first three seasons.
However, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) objected to two leagues being run in India. While ISL was run from October to December, the country’s premier football league with AFC and FIFA affiliation, was hosted from January to May. After a series of meetings between AIFF, FSDL, AFC and FIFA, it was decided in 2016, after the end of the third season of the ISL, that the private league will now be recognised by the AFC.
ISL replaced Federation Cup as the “cup tournament” of India and expanded to 10 teams. Bengaluru FC joined ISL after spending three years in the I-League while Tata Steel founded Jamshedpur FC from Jamshedpur to join as the 10th team. ISL winners were now eligible to play in the AFC Cup at the expense of Federation Cup winners. The league was then held parallel to the I-League for the first time in Indian football, thus becoming the de facto premier league of India.
After five ISL seasons, it was decided that the league will officially replace I-League as the premier football league of India. ISL winners now could play in the Asia Champions League as I-League was officially demoted to the “cup” tournament status. ISL saw its
second expansion when I-League side SC East Bengal joined the league in the seventh edition as the eleventh team while Atletico de Kolkata merged with another I-League side Mohun Bagan to form ATK Mohun Bagan.
The current ISL edition has eleven teams and will be played in a centralised location in Goa just like the seventh edition due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in India.
ISL is a round robin league followed by the play-offs. Teams play each other twice on home and away basis. The top four teams by the end of the regular league season advance to the play-offs where they battle it out in two legged semi-finals to make their way to the ISL final. ISL champions are that team which go on to win the ISL final after the end of the play-off stages. However, from the 2019-20 season, the teams which finish at the top of the league standings after the regular league season are also awarded an ISL League Shield. The ISL League Shield currently advances to the Asian Champions League (ACL) group stage while ISL play-off winners play in the AFC Cup play-offs. There is no relegation in the league at least till the end of the 2023-24 Indian football season.
- 2020-21 - Mumbai City
- 2019-20 - ATK
- 2018-19 - Bengalaru
- 2017-18 - Chennaiyin
- 2016 - Atletico de Kolkata (later ATK)
- 2015 - Chennaiyin
- 2014 - Atletico de Kolkata
The League Shield was introduced in the 2019-20 season and was won by FC Goa. Last season it was won by Mumbai City.
Several proven players in ISL history who will be part of the 2021-22 season include Roy Krishna (ATK Mohun Bagan), Hugo Boumous (ATK Mohun Bagan), Igor Angulo (Mumbai City FC), Jorge Ortiz Mendoza (FC Goa), Nerijus Valskis (Jamshedpur FC), Ahmed Jahouh (Mumbai City FC),
ISL has had some terrific foreign players grace the Indian pitches alongside talented Indians over the years. Elano Blumer and John Steven Mendoza are almost interchangeable with the short legacy of Chennaiyin FC. Luis Garcia is yet another super star who has lifted the ISL title with ATKFC. Ferran Corominas is the leading goal scorer of the ISL and was previously associated with FC Goa followed by Sunil Chhetri and Bartholomew Ogbeche who will play for Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad FC in the upcoming season. Mandar Rao Dessai has the highest appearances in the league and will be with FC Goa yet again.
ISL 2021-22 will have eleven teams participating. These are:
- FC, Kerala Blasters FC
- SC East Bengal
- NorthEast United
- Jamshedpur FC
- Bengaluru FC
- Kerala Blasters FC
- Mumbai City FC
- FC Goa
- Hyderabad FC.
As mentioned earlier, ATK Mohun Bagan is the result of a merger between former ISL side ATKFC and Mohun Bagan. SC East Bengal are in their second ISL season while Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC will play their third seasons. Odisha FC was earlier based out of the Indian Capital City of New Delhi and was named as Delhi Dynamos FC but then decided to shift to Bhubaneshwar in the state of Odisha FC in hunt for a more sustainable setup and support from the state government. Hyderabad FC was the result of transfer of franchise rights from now defunct FC Pune City. Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC will be playing their fifth ISL season after joining back in 2017.
The biggest rivalry in ISL is the Kolkata Derby between ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal. The former I-League side Mohun Bagan has a century old rivalry with East Bengal in the same city and ATK Mohun Bagan are continuing the legacy of the fierce derby. The history behind the rivalry goes way back to the Partition of India and
Liberation of Bangladesh. Thousands of refugees migrated to the city of Kolkata during the two humanitarian crises and eventually ended up associating with SC East Bengal as the representatives of their refugee history. Mohun Bagan, on the contrary, was eventually used to represent the native population which has now grown into an ethnic identity and supports the newly merged ATK Mohun Bagan.
The other rivalries in the league are mostly based in South India as Chennaiyin FC, Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters FC and Hyderabad FC battle it among themselves in a quadruple rivalry. All the four teams have culturally similar fan groups with distinctive features which has fueled the football rivalry in a regional derby of sorts as well.
The average number of goals scored per game in the ISL last season was 2.6. That's compared to 3.04 in the previous season. 29% of games played were won by the home side, 38% drawn and 33% ended in a win for the away side. 45% of games had over 2.5 goals scored in them. Both teams scored in 57% of matches played last season. The most by a team was Goa with 15, followed by Odisha on 14. Only eight ATK games saw both teams get on the scoresheet. The most common final score was 1-1, that came up in 15% of games played.
Edu Bedia will marshall the midfield for FC Goa yet again. He made the most number of passes (1496) in the previous ISL edition and played an instrumental role for FC Goa. Igor Angulo scored the most goals (14) in the previous season with FC Goa and has joined Mumbai City FC for the upcoming season. The second highest scorer Roy Krishna will continue with ATK Mohun Bagan. Mumbai City scored the most number of goals in the previous edition (39) which led them to win their first ISL title and first ISL Shield as well. ATK Mohun Bagan’s defensive tactics led by their head coach Antonio Lopez Habas made them the most economical side in the previous season. They just conceded 15 goals in 20 matches but only scored 28 goals which cost them a potential ISL League Shield title by the end of the previous season.
Odisha FC conceded the highest number of goals in the previous season (44) in 20 matches. They struggled to get wins and have had a lot of change in personnel for a better outing in the next season.
Mumbai City FC might be coming into the league as defending ISL title and ISL league shield winners but they are not expected to be as dominant as their previous season after the departure of key foreigners and the head coach. ATK Mohun Bagan and FC Goa are firm favourites to challenge for the top spot while sides like Hyderabad FC, Jamshedpur FC and NorthEast United will be aiming for a potential play-off spot. Odisha FC and SC East Bengal both have improved rosters and will do better than their disastrous campaigns in the previous season. Khalid Jamil’s NorthEast United FC will once again depend on their cohesion as a unit to eke out results against stronger teams in the league. Chennaiyin FC, Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC do not have much improvement upon their previous season and are expected to struggle. Our team of
Betting experts will provide well researched betting tips with statistical analysis so that viewers can place educated bets based on team strength, run of form and head to head results. The ISL kicks off on 19th November and it is going to be yet another exciting season in Indian Football.