The Indian Super League (ISL) table slowly starts to take shape as it enters Matchweek 5 of the 2023-24 season. 

Mohun Bagan Super Giant, FC Goa are the only two teams with a perfect record this season while Mumbai City FC are the only other unbeaten team. 

Punjab FC and Hyderabad FC are yet to pick up wins this campaign and will look to change that in the coming weeks. 

The Kolkata giants - Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal FC - will not be involved in MW5 as the Kolkata Derby is postponed, so the Matchweek will have just five matches. 

As we quickly make the turnaround from MW4 to MW5, here is a list of narratives that you need to watch out for in Matchweek 5. 

Bengaluru FC, FC Goa renew rivalry

The Blues and the Gaurs have been one of the biggest rivals since the former’s entry into the ISL. The two clubs fought closely in the 2018-19 and the 2019-20 seasons with each team claiming silverware. 

The two teams were also involved in the race for the playoffs last season with Bengaluru FC beating FC Goa in their final match of the league stage to knock the Gaurs out of contention. 

The two teams have met 13 times with Bengaluru FC emerging victorious on seven occasions with FC Goa winning three matches. The Gaurs have never won at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium and will be looking to break the streak on Wednesday.

Five different coaching pairs have crossed swords in this fixture with Simon Grayson and Manolo Marquez set to be the sixth coaching pair to take charge of their respective teams in this fixture. 

This fixture will also be special for Udanta Singh who will return to Kanteerava to face his former club and also for Sandesh Jhingan who helped the club reach three finals last season. 

Flair vs Steel

As NorthEast United FC host Jamshedpur FC in Guwahati, it’s a matchup between the attacking flair of the Highlanders and the steely defence of Jamshedpur FC. 

Juan Pedro Benali’s men have scored six goals so far this season which is the joint second-best tally in the league. They face a Jamshedpur FC side which is the only one to keep multiple clean sheets this season and have conceded just once this season. 

NorthEast United FC have scored four goals in their two home games and with Parthib Gogoi in fine form, Jamshedpur FC’s defensive resolve will be tested. 

It makes up for an intriguing contest. 

Can Kerala Blasters FC shine at Fortress Kochi again? 

Kerala Blasters FC took time to warm up to the pressure of playing in front of a packed home stadium in the ISL but have seemed to find a way to harness the energy from the stands. 

The Blasters have won eight out of their last ten home matches and lost just once, making the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium a fortress. They can base their playoff bid on their home form if they can continue this run. 

They face a star-studded Odisha FC side on Friday but the atmosphere is sure to get a boost by the return of Ivan Vukomanovic to the sidelines as he returns after his suspension. 

If Blasters can welcome him back with a win, they would have made the perfect start to the season, keeping their playoff bid very much on track. 

Can Mumbai City FC end Hyderabad FC hoodoo? 

The Islanders take on Hyderabad FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday an opponent that they haven’t enjoyed playing against in the ISL. The defending League Shield winners are winless in their last five matches against the HFC, with their last victory over them coming back in December 2020. 

Thangboi SIngto’s side have lost all their three matches this season with Mumbai City FC winning two and drawing one in the process. The form suggests this will be Mumbai City FC’s best chance to end their drought against Hyderabad FC and put pressure on the teams above them. 

Chennaiyin FC seek home improvements

Chennaiyin FC begin a stretch of three straight home matches with a game against Punjab FC who are still searching for their first win in ISL. 

Having won their last game against Hyderabad FC, Owen Coyle would be hoping to use these home matches as a launch pad for their season. The Marina Machans haven’t been at their best on home turn winning just three out of their last eleven matches in Chennai. Coyle will want to create a fortress at home and these three games could be crucial for the Scot to turn the team’s fortunes around. 

Punjab FC have drawn their last two matches in the ISL and their performances have been improving every game. A first win in the ISL could just be around the corner.