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ISL Playoffs Scenario As Both East Bengal and Chennaiyin Still Fighting for the 6th Spot

The conclusion of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 league phase is imminent as Matchweek 22 approaches, featuring the clash between Punjab FC and East Bengal FC at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi this Wednesday. With only a handful of matches remaining, the battle for the League Shield remains undecided, with Mumbai City FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant vying for the top position. Beyond the pursuit of the League Winners Shield, teams are also vigorously competing to secure coveted playoff berths.

Kerala Blasters FC Image Credits ISL ISL Playoffs Scenario As Both East Bengal and Chennaiyin Still Fighting for the 6th Spot
Kerala Blasters FC, Image Credits- ISL

Although FC Goa has been eliminated from contention for the League Shield, they are eyeing a potential second-place finish, which would grant them the advantage of a direct semi-final berth rather than navigating through the knockout stage. The race for the sixth position is between Chennaiyin FC and East Bengal FC, with NorthEast United FC eliminated following their defeat to the Marina Machans on Tuesday.

Here’s a breakdown of the anticipated scenarios for each of the five aforementioned teams.

Who Will be The Most Anticipated ISL 2023-24 League Winners?

The race for the ISL 2023-24 League Winners is intensifying, with Mumbai City FC currently leading the charge.

Mumbai City FC

With an impressive streak of five consecutive victories, Mumbai City FC sits comfortably at the top of the table with 47 points from 21 games. The pivotal showdown for the League title is scheduled for April 15 against Mohun Bagan Super Giant, provided the latter doesn’t drop points against Bengaluru FC.

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Mumbai City FC Image Credits ISL ISL Playoffs Scenario As Both East Bengal and Chennaiyin Still Fighting for the 6th Spot
Mumbai City FC, Image Credits- ISL

Fans eagerly anticipate a showdown between two of the season’s strongest teams. In their previous encounter, Mumbai City FC secured a victory over Mohun Bagan Super Giant, thanks to a decisive goal by Lallianzuala Chhangte. Chhangte’s recent performance, contributing a goal and an assist in their win over Odisha FC, hints at his potential to make a difference once again.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant

Before facing Mumbai City FC, Mohun Bagan Super Giant must focus on their April 11 fixture against Bengaluru FC. With 42 points currently, anything less than a win would diminish their chances of catching up to Mumbai City FC. In such a scenario, they would aim to solidify their second position against FC Goa.

Mohun Bagan SG Image Credits ISL ISL Playoffs Scenario As Both East Bengal and Chennaiyin Still Fighting for the 6th Spot
Mohun Bagan SG, Image Credits- ISL

While Mohun Bagan Super Giant suffered a setback against Chennaiyin FC, they remain confident in their ability to defeat Bengaluru FC, as they did earlier in the season. The upcoming match promises to be challenging, but they are determined to maintain their pursuit of the League title.

FC Goa Aiming for The Runner-up Spot

With a late winner in their last match, FC Goa remains in contention for the second position and a direct berth in the semi-finals. Their recent resurgence, marked by four wins in their last five games, has revitalized their campaign after a slight dip in form.

FC Goa Image Credits ISL ISL Playoffs Scenario As Both East Bengal and Chennaiyin Still Fighting for the 6th Spot
FC Goa, Image Credits- ISL

Their upcoming fixture against Chennaiyin FC is crucial, as a victory would bolster their chances of finishing second. While FC Goa dominated Chennaiyin FC in their previous encounter, the latter’s recent winning streak suggests a fiercely contested match at the Fatorda Stadium, with significant stakes for both teams.

East Bengal and Chennaiyin FC’s Chances for the 6th Spot

Former ISL champion coaches are set to clash as Chennaiyin FC and East Bengal FC vie for the sixth spot in the standings.

Chennaiyin FC

Currently with 27 points from 21 games, Chennaiyin FC must secure at least a victory in their upcoming match against FC Goa to fend off competition from East Bengal FC. A draw would almost certainly secure the Marina Machans the sixth playoffs spot, as East Bengal FC, with 24 points, would struggle to match that even with a victory in their final game against Punjab FC.

Chennaiyin FC Image Credits ISL ISL Playoffs Scenario As Both East Bengal and Chennaiyin Still Fighting for the 6th Spot
Chennaiyin FC, Image Credits- ISL

In their two encounters this season, East Bengal FC has had the edge over Chennaiyin FC, with a 1-1 draw in their first meeting and a 1-0 win in the second. Therefore, Owen Coyle’s team will be keen to avoid finishing level on points and will likely push for at least a draw against FC Goa, who themselves will be eager for a win.

East Bengal FC

East Bengal FC Image Credits ISL ISL Playoffs Scenario As Both East Bengal and Chennaiyin Still Fighting for the 6th Spot
East Bengal FC, Image Credits- ISL

Anything less than a win against Punjab FC tonight will eliminate East Bengal FC from playoff contention, effectively securing Chennaiyin FC’s qualification as the sixth team. To keep their playoff hopes alive, Cuadrat’s side must aim for a win and then rely on FC Goa defeating Chennaiyin FC on Sunday. While the equation seems straightforward, they must be cautious of a Punjab FC side that, with nothing to lose, could play the role of giant killers to conclude their debut ISL season.

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