The eagerly anticipated new season of the Indian Super League (ISL) is almost upon us, and it promises to provide fans with even more reasons to be excited.

India's top-flight league is expanding to 12 teams, with Punjab FC becoming the first side to be promoted into the ISL. This season marks a significant milestone as the league celebrates its 10th season, and the excitement has already been ignited with the announcement of the fixtures earlier on Thursday.

Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) has also made a noteworthy announcement, designating Viacom18 Media Private Limited as the 'new home of Indian Football' for both the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.

The ISL 2023-24 season is all set to commence on September 21, with a thrilling clash between Southern rivals Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

The first month of the season promises to deliver exciting clashes with rivalries reignited and head coaches vying for supremacy.

Here are the standout fixtures to keep an eye on in September:

Kerala Blasters FC vs. Bengaluru FC (September 21, Thursday, Kochi)

Kerala Blasters FC, once again, find themselves in the opening fixture of the league, this time going head-to-head with their Southern rivals, Bengaluru FC. This match has generated high anticipation among both sets of fans.

In their previous encounter in Kochi, the Blasters secured a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Blues. Ivan Vukomanovic’s squad is determined to maintain that momentum, fueled by the electric atmosphere created by their home supporters. They will be eager to seek revenge for their loss against Bengaluru FC in the knockout clash.

Meanwhile, the Blues will be looking to dampen their rivals' celebration on the opening day.

To expect anything else would be unrealistic as this encounter will offer plenty of strong challenges and a cauldron-like atmosphere from the home supporters.

Also Read: ISL 2023-24 key fixtures, October 2023: A month of homecomings, heated rivalries, and more

Hyderabad FC vs. FC Goa (September 22, Friday, Hyderabad)

The newly appointed manager of FC Goa, Manolo Marquez, will return to his former home as the Gaurs face Hyderabad FC in their opening fixture of the 2023-24 ISL season.

There's very little to distinguish between the two teams in terms of their head-to-head record. Out of their previous eight meetings, both teams have won three matches each, with the other two ending in draws.

With two new coaches eager to make their mark in the league and start their campaigns strongly, it promises to be another exciting clash to look forward to.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs. Punjab FC (September 23, Saturday, Kolkata)

The ISL Cup winners are set to begin their journey in the 2023-24 ISL season against the newly-promoted ISL side, Punjab FC. The two teams recently faced each other in the Durand Cup, where the Kolkata side emerged victorious with a 2-0 scoreline. The Mariners will be looking to kick off their campaign with a win.

Despite the scoreline, the Shers put on a dominating performance in the second half of the match but couldn't find the back of the net. Punjab FC, who made several significant signings before the close of the transfer window, aims to surprise the Mariners and establish their presence in the league.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs. Bengaluru FC (September 27, Wednesday, Kolkata)

The clashes between Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Bengaluru FC have always been a pleasure to watch, and why wouldn't they be? They are arguably two of the most consistent teams in the ISL, and it's really hard not to take notice when these two sides face each other in the league.

The two previous ISL Cup winners are set to reignite their rivalry on September 27, in what is going to be a rematch of last year's final. Both the Mariners and Blues know how to get things done, and in this encounter, there are star players like Jason Cummings, Armando Sadiku, Sunil Chhetri, and Curtis Main on both sides who would love to set the tone for their respective teams.

Also Read: ISL 2023-23 key fixtures, November 2023: Old foes cross paths in crucial month

Odisha FC vs. Mumbai City FC (September 28, Thursday, Bhubaneswar)

Odisha FC, much like Mumbai City, has been on an impressive upward trajectory in the ISL in recent years, adding significant importance to this fixture. However, the upcoming clash between these two teams gains added significance as it marks the return of Sergio Lobera, who will face his former side.

Apart from appointing their former head coach, the Juggernauts have also acquired players such as Mourtada Fall, Amey Ranawade, and Ahmed Jahouh from Mumbai City FC, all of whom have consistently performed well for the Islanders over the past couple of seasons.

With significant improvements made during the summer transfer window, both teams are expected to challenge for top honours at the end of the season, and this clash will provide both teams with an opportunity to make an early statement.