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Let's football! ISL 2022-23 welcomes the fans back as excitement gets bigger

ISL

Bengaluru, October 7: The Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season, which is set to begin on Friday (October 7) is poised to be bigger and more exciting than ever.

The season 9 of ISL will welcome back its 12th man - the fans -- who come back to cheer their teams at the stadiums.

With a productive pre-season, where most ISL teams sent their first teams to participate in the Durand Cup, the clubs are all set to give fans an enthralling experience across the season.

ISL 2022-23 FIXTURES | PAST CHAMPIONS

Defending champions Hyderabad FC will aim to become the first ISL team to defend their crown successfully, but will have healthy competition to contend with.

With some major transfers in pre-season in the likes of Roy Krishna and Greg Stewart finding new home bases, and the influx of top international coaches, the title will be more closely contested than ever.

Defending champs

Defending champs

"This season, the teams are better I think," Hyderabad FC coach Manolo Marquez was quoted as saying by ISL Media.

Hyderabad will be looking for a repeat from their main marksman Bartholomew Ogbeche, who topped the scoring charts with 18 goals and led them to being the highest-scoring team in the league stage. Ogbeche is part of a solid core for Hyderabad, which includes captain Joao Victor.

Stiff competition

Stiff competition

Hyderabad will have stiff competition from the likes of ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City FC, and Bengaluru FC, who have all put together strong squads ahead of the new season. Former Bengaluru FC defensive midfielder Erik Paartalu suggested that Mumbai City FC will be a constant threat to all teams this season and predicted that they would go on to win the title.

Mumbai City FC had one of the strongest transfer windows ahead of the season, bringing in big names like Rostyn Griffiths, Alberto Noguera, and Jorge Pereyra Diaz in particular to slot in alongside their talented Indian contingent.

Big matches

Big matches

ATK Mohun Bagan are another team that have gone for an overall revamp in their squad, having fallen at the semi-final stage two seasons in a row, and more recently losing in the AFC Cup inter-zone semifinal.

Coach Juan Ferrando has said there have been psychological barriers to his team in the big matches and the addition of experience to a squad that has only five players over the age of 30 will make them strong contenders again.

Set for kick-off

Set for kick-off

The ISL 2022-23 season will also require six developmental Indian players in every squad, and will provide a long calendar for young Indian talent to showcase their best. Some emerging players to watch out for this season will be Chennaiyin FC's Vincy Barretto, Kerala Blasters' Prabhsukhan Gill, and Odisha FC's Narender Gahlot.

The Indian talent on display will also be led by players like Liston Colaco and Sahal Abdul Samad who had breakthrough seasons last time around. All said and done, Let's football!

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Story first published: Friday, October 7, 2022, 16:15 [IST]
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