I-League 2018-19: Best XI from the league so far - 4 players from Chennai City make cut
Running parallel to the glitzy and glamorous Indian Super League is its older cousin I-League. Although it has been given a step-motherly treatment with post-lunch and 5:00 p.m. kick-off timings, the standard of the game is almost equal to that of the ISL, you could say.
The fans tend to forget that it is the I-League which is the premier competition of India and not the ISL. The winners of the 2018-19 I-League will receive a playoff spot for the AFC Champions League. On the other hand, the ISL champions will only get a playoff spot for the AFC Cup.
This year's I-League has been an intriguing affair so far. Chennai City FC are the runaway leaders and are yet to lose a game. A total of six clubs - Churchill Brothers, Gokulam Kerala, Mohun Bagan, Minerva Punjab, Real Kashmir and East Bengal - are looking to catch up and dethrone the leaders.
Also Read: I-League 2018-19: Best Indian XI so far
Here is the combined 11 of the 2018-19 Hero I-League so far.
Pintu Mahata (Mohun Bagan AC)
Pintu Mohata has been phenomenal for Mohun Bagan in the wings so far. After the departure of Nikhil Kadam to an ISL club, the Mohun Bagan youth academy product was handed a cap by coach Sankarlal Chakraborty.
He has been lively on the wings and has delivered a lot of deadly crosses. However, he is yet to write his name in the scoresheet owing to his profligacy in front of the goal.
Arjun Jayaraj (Gokulam Kerala)
Gokulam Kerala's Arjun Jayaraj plays in the hole between the strikers and the midfielders. He scored against Churchill Brothers to restore the parity in a 1-1 draw wherein he was adjudged the Hero of the Match.
However, the position is taken by the Shillong Lajong captain. Till then, he gets an honourable mention to the combined XI.
Danish Farooq (Real Kashmir FC)
Hailed as the Kashmiri Ronaldo, fan-favourite Danish Farooq can play both in the wings and centrally. Danish assisted Bazie Armand in giving the insurance goal to the home side after connecting Surchandra Singh's corner.
While he is one of the standout players of Real Kashmir, he has to up his ante if he wants to become so of the entire I-League. Till then, he gets an honourable mention in this list.