After almost two weeks of international break, the Indian Super League (ISL) is set to commence with Matchweek 20 starting on Saturday. This five-day-long Matchweek will feature Kerala Blasters FC and Odisha FC twice, while NorthEast United FC and FC Goa will be out of action.

Heading towards the epilogue of ISL 2023–24, Matchweek 20 is going to be pivotal for teams around the midtable. where two playoff spots are still up for grabs.

Matchweek 20 will begin with a double-header where Bengaluru FC host Odisha FC in the early kick-off on Saturday. Later on in the day, Jamshedpur FC lock horns against Kerala Blasters FC at the JRD Tata Complex.

A high-intensity blockbuste clash unfolds on Sunday, where the two-time ISL Cup-winning head coach Antonio Habas takes on Chennaiyin FC's Owen Coyle, a former ISL League Shield winner, in Kolkata.

On April 1, Mumbai City FC will be looking to cement their position at the top of the table when they take on Hyderabad FC in an away fixture. The following day, Tuesday, we will witness Odisha FC fighting it out against Punjab FC at the Kalinga Stadium.

To put a curtain on this Matchweek, Kerala Blasters FC will play against East Bengal FC in their second match of this Matchweek, which will take place on April 3 in Kochi.

As another thrilling matchweek is going to lead off, let’s explore and delve into the key narratives of Matchweek 20.

Odisha FC look to challenge Bengaluru FC’s impressive home record

After seeing their 13-match unbeaten streak come to an end following their defeat against Chennaiyin FC, Odisha FC will look to start afresh when they resume their ISL campaign against Bengaluru FC. The Kalinga Warriors, who are currently placed in the fourth spot with 35 points in 18 matches, find themselves just one point behind FC Goa in the points table.

Whereas, Bengaluru FC have lost once while playing at Sree Kanteerava Stadium thus far in the ISL 2023–24 season. They have been unbeaten at home since head coach Gerard Zaragoza took charge of the team, winning three out of five games under the Spaniard. The Blues will aim to continue their home dominance to keep up their chase for the final playoff spot.

Can the Blasters book their playoff spot at the Furnace?

After suffering two successive defeats against Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan SG, Ivan Vukomanovic’s team will be eyeing their comeback with a strong performance against Jamshedpur FC. Having suffered several injuries to their key players throughout the season, Kerala Blasters FC have lost their chance to win the ISL League Shield despite once being at the top of the table. 

On the other hand, Jamshedpur FC have also faced two back-to-back defeats in their last two matches. The Men of Steel will leave no stone unturned and will present a strong challenge to the away team in order to revive their playoff hopes. 

Antonio Habas vs Owen Coyle: A fascinating tactical battle awaits

As Mohun Bagan SG host Chennaiyin FC, we will see an explosive battle between two highly experienced and renowned head coaches in the ISL, Antonio Habas and Owen Coyle. 

The Mariners are in good shape, carrying forward an eight-match unbeaten streak under Habas and are giving leaders Mumbai City FC a tough fight for the ISL League Shield. Despite having experienced several highs and lows throughout the season, the Marina Machans have shown that they are capable of beating any side and will be hoping to defy the odds in Kolkata. 

Can Hyderabad FC build on historic win?

Hyderabad FC etched their names into history as they became the first outfit to win an ISL game with all-Indian playing eleven. This was also their first win of the season, which put an end to their 18-game unbeaten run in the league. However, Hyderabad FC will face the league leaders Mumbai City FC in their very next game, which will be another big test for their side. 

The Islanders find themselves in a favorable position ahead of the game, as they are coming off a seven-match unbeaten run. Furthermore, bagging all three points will solidify Mumbai City FC’s position at the summit of the table, which will help Petr Kratky’s team increase the gap with Mohun Bagan SG.

Make or break week for East Bengal FC

Will Carles Cuadrat’s men be able to reign in Kerala Blasters FC’s Fortress? This answer could probably determine East Bengal FC’s fortune of making the playoffs in the ongoing campaign.

Nevertheless, securing a win against the Blasters will not only boost their confidence but also keep alive their dream of qualifying for the playoffs, something they have never achieved in ISL history.