The Durand Cup 2023 will offer a chance for Indian Super League (ISL) teams to assess themselves before the upcoming  ISL season begins. Chennaiyin FC and Hyderabad FC, two ISL sides with a new management in charge, will be looking to make the most of the tournament.

Chennaiyin FC, quarter-finalists in the previous Durand Cup edition, have brought back head coach Owen Coyle, who has already made a name for himself in Indian football. On the other hand, it’s the start of a new era at Hyderabad FC who are in the process of rebuilding their squad under a new coaching staff. 

These two ISL sides will be joined by newly-promoted I-League side Delhi FC and Nepal’s Tribhuwan Army FC. Delhi FC, recently were crowned winners of the second division and eventually secured their place in the I-League for the first time. 

Tribhuwan Army FC, also known as Nepal Army Club, are among the two foreign teams to take part in the tournament alongside Bangladesh Army Football Team. Tribhuwan Army FC will be led by striker Nawayug Shrestha, who also plays for the Nepal national team.  

This is the first time in 27 years where teams outside of India will be participating in Asia’s oldest football tournament. 

Group E

Sr No



Chennaiyin FC


Delhi FC


Hyderabad FC


Tribhuvan Army FC

Group E fixtures





August 6, 2023

2:30 PM

Delhi FC vs Hyderabad FC

Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium

August 9, 2023

2:30 PM

Delhi FC vs Tribhuvan Army FC 

Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium

August 10, 2023

3:00 PM

Hyderabad FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium

August 14, 2023

3:00 PM

Chennaiyin FC vs Tribhuvan Army FC

Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium

August 18, 2023

3:00 PM

Delhi FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium

August 22, 2023

3:00 PM

Hyderabad FC vs Tribhuvan Army FC

Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium

Talking points 

Business resumes for Owen Coyle

Coyle will be hoping to replicate his success he achieved with Chennaiyin FC in his first stint with the two-time ISL champions back during the 2019-20 season. The Scottish tactician inspired a marvellous turnaround in his debut ISL season with Chennaiyin FC, taking them from the bottom half of the table to the final that season. 

Coyle parted ways with Chennaiyin FC the following season, joining Jamshedpur FC and success followed him. In just his second season with the Red Miners, he helped them lift the League Shield, in what was the club’s first-ever title. 

Coyle’s first stint with Chennaiyin FC may have been a short one, but it was indeed memorable. Possessing a good understanding of Indian football, Coyle will be hoping to give the Chennaiyin FC fans something to cheer for before the start of the ISL season. 

How will Hyderabad FC fare under new management? 

With a new leadership group at the helm, consisting of first team coach Conor Nestor, first team head coach Thangboi Singto and assistant coach Shameel Chembakath, Hyderabad FC are a team in transition. The former ISL champions have let go of key players who formed the core of their team last season alongside head coach Manolo Marquez. 

Hyderabad FC will need to start from scratch all over again in terms of building the team, but have entrusted great responsibility on the trio of Nestor, Singto and Chembakath to rebuild the squad. Singto was involved as assistant coach of HFC from 2020-22 before serving as Technical Director of the Youth Sides. 

Similarly, Chembakath has been part of the club since 2020, taking charge of their reserve team before joining the coaching staff as an assistant during the 2022-23 season. Nestor, still only 39, has worked for Ireland FA in the past and has enjoyed his fair share of success in Asian football with former club Svay Reing. He helped the Cambodian side win the domestic league title and lead them to their first-ever AFC Cup. Having reached the semi-finals last season, losing to eventual winners Bengaluru FC, Hyderabad FC are one of the sides in the competition to keep an eye out for.