As we near the final few Matchweeks of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 league fixtures, things have certainly picked up the pace, with the race for the Shield getting thinner and closer, witnessing the pecking order once again change hands up top.

Meanwhile, the race for the final playoff position has been getting more intense. A 'never give up, never let go' attitude becoming prevalent among the bottom half of the ISL League table. 

Matchweek 19 kicks off with Chennaiyin FC playing the boys in yellow-black, Hyderabad FC, at home followed by one of the biggest spectacles in Indian football, the Kolkata Darby, East Bengal FC playing Mohun Bagan Super Giants. On Monday, Punjab FC host FC Goa. Tuesday will witness Mumbai City FC clashing with NorthEast United FC. We'll be heading to the home of the Blasters on Wednesday as Kerala Blasters FC match up against Mohun Bagan Super Giants. Finally capping off Matchweek 19 as FC Goa battles it out with Bengaluru FC at the Fatorda.

Can Chennaiyin FC build on their win over Odisha FC?

The Matchweek 19 starts with 11th-placed Chennaiyin FC playing host to winless Hyderabad FC who are at the bottom of the league table.

This comes after Marina Machan's unexpected win against Odisha FC, which brought to an end their run of four months without losing. Will Chennaiyin FC be able to build upon their recent uproar or will Hyderabad FC at last seize the moment and record their first win of the season, in the battle of the backmarkers?

Can Mohun Bagan SG deliver a knockout blow to East Bengal FC?

Can Mohun Bagan Super Giants maintain their dominance and deliver a body blow to East Bengal FC's playoff aspirations while significantly boosting their own Shield chances or will the Red and Gold Brigade get back to their opportunistic winning ways and get themselves a much needed three points and the derby bragging rights? 

The season's second Kolkata derby has so much hanging on it that it will carry an additional spice to it. A defeat for either team would put them in serious trouble in terms of reaching their respective objectives while a win could be the perfect tonic for the rest of the season.

Will Mumbai City FC tighten their grip at the top?

The Islanders host the Highlanders in Matchweek 19 of the ISL where both teams would be hoping for nothing but a win to bolster their claim on the Shield in the case of Mumbai City FC and to secure their spot for this season's playoffs in the case of NorthEast United FC. This match will be one to closely watch out for, especially for the teams that are looking to achieve this season's Shield glory and those who are eager to make it to the playoffs.

Mumbai City FC have their fate very much in their own hands and would like to keep it that way ahead of that big game away at Mohun Bagan Super Giant on the final day of the league phase with a win over NorthEast United FC who on the other hand would want to arrest their slide having picked up just one point from their last two matches.

Must-win for Kerala Blasters FC, can they double over Mohun Bagan Super Giants?

Kerala Blasters FC had a surprisingly good two outings in Kolkata this season in the ISL. The Blasters managed to emerge victorious on both occasions, a feat that had never been accomplished before by the outfit.

Will Kerala Blasters FC be able to build on their reverse fixture results and earn their first double over the Mariners at home, or will the Mariners get the better of the host, qualifying themselves for the playoffs in the process and virtually ending the Blasters' Shield drive in front of the Manjappada in Kochi?

Ivan Vukomanovic will be hoping to harness their home support in this must-win encounter as a victory will bring them right back in the mix for the League Shield.

Old rivals split up by different goals

FC Goa and Bengaluru FC are two teams that are not shy about going the extra mile whenever these two sides meet in the ISL. The two teams have battled it out against each other for top honours in the ISL on several occasions. The Blues got the better of the Gaurs in the 2018-19 final before Goa hit back to win the League Shield in the 2019-20 campaign. 

Both teams have different concerns this time around as FC Goa strive to improve their diminishing grip on this season's League Shield after having led the race once, while the Blues will be fighting to secure the sixth qualifying spot for the playoffs. Last season, it was a 3-1 defeat against the Blues that ended FC Goa's campaign. Will the Gaurs turn the tables this season to deal a major blow to Bengaluru FC's playoff dreams and keep their League Shield hopes alive in the process?

Such excitement is sure to make this an apt conclusion to an eventful Matchweek 19 of ISL 2023-24.