Leaving behind the spoils of an exciting matchweek 7, the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 will step into its eighth matchweek starting November 29, 2023, when Kerala Blasters FC welcome Chennaiyin FC to their fortress in Kochi at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium on Wednesday.

Bengaluru FC will follow up by hosting Punjab FC on Thursday at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore. On Friday, fifth-placed Odisha FC will travel to play tenth-placed Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex. The Kalinga Stadium will then witness Hyderabad FC going all out against Mohun Bagan Super Giant to snatch their first win of the season on Saturday. On Sunday, in their second match this matchweek, the Blasters will look forward to retaining their top spot in the points table when they lock horns with second-placed FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa. To wrap things up, in the final game of matchweek 8, East Bengal FC will host NorthEast United FC on Monday at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. 

With matchweek 8 just around the corner, let’s take a look at the key narratives to keep an eye on.

Can the Marina Machans get back to winning ways at Fortress Kochi?

Matchweek 8 will kick off with Chennaiyin FC travelling to face Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi. The Marina Machans last won a match back in October when they beat Punjab FC 5-1 but since then they seem to have lost touch.

Kerala Blasters FC have won ten out of their last twelve matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, establishing it as their fortress. Their fans have been magnificent when it comes to showing support and that’s what makes their opponents shiver when they travel to Kochi to face the Blasters. 

Can Chennaiyin FC breach the fortress and grab a win before November ends?

The Shers search for their first win

Punjab FC, alongside Hyderabad FC, remain winless so far this season. Bengaluru FC have also started the season on the wrong foot having managed only a single win to their name. At the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, the Shers will look forward to downing a shaky Bengaluru FC to take home all three points and snatch their first-ever ISL win.

The Blues will see this as an opportunity to kickstart their season.

Star Power or Home Power?

On Friday, Jamshedpur FC welcome a star-studded Odisha FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex. The Red Miners have received a huge boost when playing at home, thanks to their exceptionally passionate home fans. The jam-packed stadium in Jamshedpur had been instrumental in their only victory so far this season when they contributed to Hyderabad FC’s winless start to the season.

The Juggernauts, currently, seem to be in sizzling form as they head to this fixture having shown remarkable performances against Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC, snatching all six points from the fixtures. They display a terrific team this season with Roy Krishna and Diego Mauricio leading their attack accompanied by Jerry Mawihmingthana. Mourtada Fall leads the defence while also ensuring his presence in the opposition’s box is noticed. 

Can Jamshedpur FC utilise their home support to take down Odisha’s star-studded team?

The Unbeaten take on the Winless

Mohun Bagan Super Giant have won all four matches this season and displayed immaculate performances in all. They are the only team so far this season to have secured all possible points thus far. 

Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, have not won a single fixture this season, losing four and drawing three. They will be desperate to take home a victory when they play the Mariners at the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday. 

The Clash of Titans

Table toppers, Kerala Blasters, will play their second match this matchweek when they travel to the Fatorda Stadium in Goa to lock horns with second-placed, FC Goa. The Gaurs are undefeated so far this season after their first five matches, having drawn one and won four. The Blasters have so far only conceded a single defeat this season which came against Mumbai City FC. 

As the top two teams battle out for the first place on the table, this fixture is guaranteed to be the most anticipated match for this week. 

Silva or Gogoi - who will be the X-Factor?

For the final game of matchweek 8, East Bengal FC will host NorthEast United FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Monday. While the Highlanders will be highly motivated having secured a draw in their last match, against Bengaluru FC, coming from behind, the Red and Gold Brigade will take on the fixture with the aim of not repeating their mistakes from the last match when they let Chennaiyin FC equalise in the 86th minute to end the match on level terms. 

The hosts will have Brazilian maestro, Cleiton Silva, leading their attack. Silva has started the season on a good note having scored three goals in six matches, proving himself pivotal for his team. NorthEast United, on the other hand, showcase a rising star who has scored just as many goals in only one extra appearance. The Assamese forward Parthib Gogoi, who is just 20 years of age has already earned himself a reputation for scoring bangers from outside the box. 

Who will become the X-Factor when these two teams clash on Monday to wrap up matchweek 8?