ISL 2019-20: Predicting how the table could look after the league stage
A few days ago, ATK confirmed their spot in the 2019-20 ISL play-offs when they got the better of Odisha FC 3-1. A couple of days previously, FC Goa had done so when they blitzed past a hapless Hyderabad FC outfit.
Thus, at this juncture, the aforementioned sides find themselves placed in the top two and seem primed to remain in those trenches, barring a calamitous collapse.
Additionally, Bengaluru FC, despite not mathematically confirming their qualification, seem destined to be among the ISL mix come March 2020, owing to their tally of 29 points from 16 matches.
Unsurprisingly, there seems an inevitability about three of the four sides that would feature in the semi-finals, although that’s a notion that can’t readily be applied to those beneath them.
At this juncture, the likes of Chennaiyin FC, Mumbai City FC and Odisha FC still boast the capability and possibility to outwit the other to perch themselves in the play-off slots.
Thus, with only two rounds of league matches left, the time seems ripe to indulge in predictions and chalk out how the ISL table could exactly look like come the 25th of February, when Chennaiyin FC lock horns with NorthEast United FC.
Through the article, we would analyse how each remaining fixture could pan out, the score-line it could entail and the implication it might have on the standings.
FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC (12th February 2020)
Jorge Costa has catapulted the Islanders into the higher echelons of the league since his arrival in the summer of 2018. However, the Portuguese, despite his success at Mumbai City FC, doesn’t boast an enviable record against FC Goa.
In fact, he has emerged victorious only once, with that encounter coming against the Gaurs in the 2nd leg of last term’s semi-final, a tie the latter had already wrapped up courtesy a 5-1 mauling at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Thus, the match at Fatorda on the 12th represents the ideal banana skin for Mumbai, meaning that they might even be content to return with a point.
Moreover, they would be missing Amine Chermiti, thereby forcing Costa to opt for a makeshift striking solution. Goa, on the other hand, possess the luxury of calling upon their vast resources, with Ahmed Jahouh also returning from suspension.
Furthermore, Goa’s game seems suited to exploit the games that the Islanders usually leave in between the lines and the Gaurs’ concentration of attacks down the flanks could also cause the Islanders plenty of problems.
Hence, anything apart from a home victory seems a far-fetched result, at best.
Score Prediction: FC Goa 3-1 Mumbai City FC
Hyderabad FC vs Jamshedpur FC (13th February 2020)
The encounter, as such, doesn’t have much bearing on the top four race with both sides having been eliminated. However, the contest could morph into an exciting clash, considering both might be free-spirited in their approach.
Additionally, both sets of players would want to strengthen their chances of being retained by their clubs, especially as Hyderabad and Jamshedpur seek to shake things up in the off-season.
Thus, with both sides not covering themselves in any glory defensively, one can expect the goals to flow, meaning that we might have plenty of entertainment, even if it falls short on the quality quotient.
Score Prediction: Hyderabad FC 1-2 Jamshedpur FC