All India Football Federation (AIFF) finally managed to pit ISL and I-League sides against each other as it launched the Super Cup on Monday.
The AIFF committee decided that the teams that finish in the top six positions in the two leagues, which are running parallel at this moment, will get direct entry into the 16-team event. The bottom four sides from the two competitions will head into a qualifier, to fill up the remaining spots. The tournament is set to be played in a knockout format.
Let’s take a look at the current ISL and I-League standings so that we can get a better idea of the teams that are most likely to qualify for the new tournament.
Bengaluru FC, FC Pune City, Chennaiyin FC, Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters and FC Goa are currently occupying the top six spots in ISL. While Bengaluru are in pole position with 34 points from 16 games, Goa are sixth with 20 points from 14 games.
Mumbai City FC, who are in the seventh spot with 20 points from 15 games, can move up the ladder, provided they win their last three games and other results go their way.
ATK are eighth with 13 points from 15 games and even three wins won’t be enough to propel them ahead of the seventh-placed team as they have a disastrous goal difference (-10).
The remaining teams – NorthEast United and Delhi Dynamos, have only managed to secure 11 points each, which puts them in a position to fight with ATK for a Super Cup berth.
However, one more team has to join ATK, NorthEast and Delhi in the Super Cup qualifier. And Mumbai City FC look most likely to be that side based on current form.
Now let’s turn our attention towards the Super Cup qualifiers. Although the process of pitting the last four teams against each other hasn't been finalised, it is presumed that the 7th placed side will take on the last team while 8th and 9th-placed teams will face each other.
Top Six: Bengaluru FC, FC Pune City, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters
Qualifiers: ATK may not have won many games but they have looked brilliant in patches. Mumbai, on the other hand, have been dismal in their home games but have performed outstandingly on road. Thus these two franchises are the favourites to clinch the two Super Cup berths.