ISL 2023-24 key fixtures, April 2024: Stage set for intense clashes in the final stretch of the season
As the season draws to a close, high-stakes showdowns will be on the cards.
The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season is set to hurtle towards its thrilling conclusion in the upcoming month of April. Similar to March, April will also feature 17 fixtures, marking the remaining matches in the regular season before the playoff rounds begin.
Also Read: ISL 2023-24 key fixtures, February 2024: Clash of heavyweights, the Kolkata derby, and more
April promises a build-up of excitement as each fixture becomes a potential game-changer in determining the fate of the participating clubs. Heavyweight clubs face off in the final stretch of the season not only for their bragging rights but also to consolidate their positions for the prestigious league shield. Other teams are poised for a decisive battle to secure coveted playoff spots, while the remaining teams will intensify their efforts to bridge the gap from the mid-table clubs.
Here are some key fixtures to watch out for in April 2024.
Punjab FC vs Mohun Bagan Super Giant (April 6, Saturday, Delhi)
The two sides met in their opening fixture of the season, where the Mariners emerged victorious with a scoreline of 3-1 over the newest entrant in the ISL. Punjab FC, despite sitting in the 11th position on the table, are currently more settled and aim to pose a greater threat to Mohun Bagan SG than they did in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
The Kolkata club currently occupy the 5th position in the table and are keen to replicate their performance against Punjab FC from the reverse fixture, securing the desired three points to remain in the hunt for the title.
Mumbai City FC vs Odisha FC (April 8, Monday, Mumbai)
Odisha FC made it to their first ISL playoffs last season and ended their campaign by lifting the Super Cup. Under the guidance of new head coach Sergio Lobera this season, they have significantly improved their performance. The Kalinga Warriors have already secured a spot in the knockouts of the AFC Cup and are one step away from retaining the Super Cup. Lobera’s side is currently unbeaten in their last 15 matches across all competitions and sits third in the points table.
The two teams played out a thrilling 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture, but Odisha FC claimed victory in their recent Kalinga Super Cup clash.
Mumbai City FC, who underwent a coaching change midseason, currently sit just below Odisha FC with two points separating them in the points table. The Islanders will be desperate for revenge after their recent defeat.
Punjab FC vs East Bengal FC (April 10, Wednesday, Delhi)
Punjab FC will host East Bengal FC in their last league stage fixture, aiming to finish their first season in the ISL on a strong note with a win in their final group stage match.
The Red and Gold Brigade, on the other hand, will seek to secure a victory against the Shers after failing to do so in the reverse fixture in Kolkata. The two sides played out a 0-0 draw, with the home team dominating ball possession but being unable to find the back of the net.
After finishing as runners-up in the Durand Cup, East Bengal FC have also reached the finals of the Kalinga Super Cup. They would now aim to replicate their cup performance in the ISL and strive to make it to the playoffs for the first time in the league's history.
Bengaluru FC vs Mohun Bagan Super Giant (April 11, Thursday, Bengaluru)
The clashes between Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Bengaluru FC have consistently been a pleasure to watch, marked by high competitiveness, as both teams are among the most consistent sides in the league.
Both clubs have experienced divergent trajectories in the current season, with the Blues finding themselves in the 9th position, whereas Mohun Bagan SG are sitting in 5th place in the table. Despite the difference in the standings, the clash, as always, is poised to be an exciting encounter.
In the early fixture, the Mariners emerged as winners, courtesy of a Hugo Boumous goal.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs Mumbai City FC (April 14, Sunday, Kolkata)
The penultimate fixture of the ISL 2023-24 league stage will witness a clash between the ISL Cup winners and ISL League Winners, potentially setting the stage for an enthralling and decisive match that will determine the fate of the two clubs.
In their previous encounter in the reverse fixture, the Islanders secured a victory with a brilliant comeback after initially trailing by a goal in the opening half. They managed to beat the Mariners 2-1 in a game that saw the temperature rise as it progressed, resulting in a total of seven players being sent off from both teams.
Known for their intense past encounters, both teams have developed a storied rivalry in recent years, each striving for ultimate glory. This upcoming match is expected to be no different and might even surpass previous showdowns, considering it marks their final league stage match.
FC Goa vs Chennaiyin FC (April 14, Sunday, Goa)
The final clash of the league stage will feature FC Goa against Chennaiyin FC, promising another compelling match. Two of the oldest teams in the league have followed distinct trajectories this season, with FC Goa soaring under their new head coach Manolo Marquez, maintaining an unbeaten record of 10 matches so far in the league.
On the other hand, Chennaiyin FC, who reappointed their former coach Owen Coyle, have struggled to find momentum this season, securing only 12 points from their opening 12 matches. They aim to make a comeback in the second phase of the league and remain in contention for a playoff spot.
In the reverse fixture in November, the Gaurs recorded a resounding 3-0 win over the Marina Machans, and they will surely look to replicate that result in Goa as they hunt for the League Shield.