ISL 2023-24: What to look forward to in matchweek 13
With matchweek 13 just around the corner, let’s take a look at the key narratives to keep an eye on.
After the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and Kalinga Super Cup 2024, the Indian Super League (ISL) will mark its comeback with matchweek 13 starting on Wednesday. Returning from the international break, the ISL is going to kick off on Wednesday when Jamshedpur FC host NorthEast United FC in the opening fixture.
Thursday’s game will see Hyderabad FC square off against unbeaten FC Goa. On Friday, Kerala Blasters FC will face an away test against Odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium. Punjab FC will follow up by hosting Bengaluru FC in the evening’s game on February 3. Later on, on the same day, Mohun Bagan Super Giant will lock horns against Kalinga Super Cup 2024 champions East Bengal FC in the Kolkata derby.
To wrap up this matchweek, Jamshedpur FC will play their second game this week against Mumbai City FC, which is scheduled to play on Sunday in Mumbai.
As ISL 2023–24 is stepping toward another brand new matchweek, let's have a closer look at the key narratives to look forward to in matchweek 13.
Jamshedpur FC begin Khalid Jamil's era in ISL at home
Jamshedpur FC will begin the post-Scott Cooper era in the ISL under their newly appointed head coach, Khalid Jamil, on their home turf. The Red Miners are currently placed in the 10th spot with nine points in 12 matches.
🔥 Men of Steel in sync, gearing up for the ultimate clash against #NEUFC! ⚽️#JamKeKhelo #ISL10 #ISLonJioCinema #ISLonSports18 #football #indianfootball #training #trainingday #JFCNEUFC pic.twitter.com/omYeV90dY7— Jamshedpur FC (@JamshedpurFC) January 29, 2024
Jamshedpur FC have had an impressive outing under Jamil in the Kalinga Super Cup 2024, where they reached the semi-final by winning all three group stage matches. On the other hand, NorthEast United FC failed to cross the group stage but will be determined to fix their spot in the top six in the points table.
Manolo Marquez returns to Hyderabad FC
Hyderabad FC are the only side that have yet to secure their first win in the ISL 2023–24, placing them at the bottom of the points table. Despite facing defeats in all three matches in the Kalinga Super Cup, Thangboi Singto’s young Indian squad has shown promise and determination to turn things around in the upcoming ISL matches.
Mission ISL, reporting for duty 🧡 pic.twitter.com/eIokgVPuWr— FC Goa (@FCGoaOfficial) January 26, 2024
Securing 24 points from 10 matches, the Gaurs have made the best start to this campaign in the club’s history. Manolo Marquez’s FC Goa will be aiming to start from where they left off just before the international break.
The clash though will hold bigger significance as Marquez will return to Hyderabad to face his former team for the first time since departing Hyderabad FC, a team with whom he won the ISL Cup in 2021-22.
Punjab FC target their second win at home against Bengaluru FC
Last time, when both sides played at Kanteerava Stadium, the Shers played out a 3-3 draw against Bengaluru FC. Staikos Vergetis’s men will be aiming to get the better of the Blues when Punjab FC host Bengaluru FC in Saturday’s doubleheader.
Since Gerard Zaragoza has taken charge of Bengaluru FC, they defeated Jamshedpur FC by a 1-0 scoreline and shared spoils against NorthEast United FC. The Spaniard would like to continue their unbeaten run in the upcoming matches to earn their spot in the top six.
Can Habas keep up his winning streak against Cuadrat's East Bengal FC in the Kolkata derby?
With their scintillating recent form, East Bengal FC will try to secure their first win against Mohun Bagan SG in the ISL. The Red and Gold Brigade have emerged victorious two out of three times against their arch-rivals thus far this season. Cleiton Silva-led East Bengal FC’s confidence will be high after clinching a national trophy after 12 long years under Carles Cuadrat.
Despite making an impeccable start in this campaign, the Mariners have lost their momentum after facing three back-to-back defeats in the ISL. However, Mohun Bagan SG are unbeaten against their arch-rivals in the ISL. Notably, Antonio Lopez Habas, whom they have brought back at the helm, has never lost a Kolkata Derby during his time with the club as a head coach.
Jorge Pereyra Diaz or Daniel Chima Chukwu – who will be the X-factor?
The concluding match of matchweek 13 will see Mumbai City FC take on Jamshedpur FC at their home ground. Both teams reached the semi-finals of the Kalinga Super Cup 2024 but couldn’t proceed further.
An interesting battle is going to be seen in this match between two lethal forwards, Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Daniel Chima Chukwu, who are integral parts of their respective teams’ offensive units. Diaz has six goals to his name so far in the ISL, while Chukwu has put his name five times on the scoresheet. This individual battle between two proven forwards could end up being the decider in this game.