Teams seek to sign off 2023 on a high as ISL 2023-24 reaches halfway mark with upcoming Matchweek 12

The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 matchweek 12 commences on Boxing Day, Tuesday, post-Christmas celebrations. As the competition heads to take a break at the halfway stage, Odisha FC will play twice in the coming set of matches, whereas teams from across the table square off against each other to move forward in their quest of realising their objectives for the campaign.

Punjab FC and Jamshedpur FC will hope to build on their confidence and momentum from their much-needed victories last week, whereas the duo of Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Mumbai City FC will look to bounce back from their recent setbacks. FC Goa will round off the first-half of the ISL 2023-24 season in Guwahati against NorthEast United FC, as the Highlanders hope to break free from their six-match winless run. Here are certain key themes to look forward to in the coming week of the campaign.

Marquee clash in Kolkata

Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG) is in a difficult spot at the moment, having lost their last two games against Mumbai City FC and FC Goa. These matches were opportunities for them to bridge the gaps at the top of the standings, but the Mariners were unable to do so, arguably compelling head coach Juan Ferrando to go back to the drawing board.

On December 27, they await the arrival of the high-flying Kerala Blasters FC, who beat the Islanders 2-0 in Kochi on Sunday. Ivan Vukomanovic and his side are a different threat at home though, and the Mariners will be riding on the support of their own fan base as these two star-studded teams clash promising fierce fireworks and some top-class footballing action in matchweek 12.

Odisha FC can’t afford dropping points

Sergio Lobera & Co. hit a roadblock in Kolkata when they played a goalless draw against East Bengal FC. The Juggernauts could hit only a shot on target during the game as they succumbed to their third draw of the season, taking their tally of dropped points to 12 after 10 games.

Lobera will be hopeful of warding off these concerns at the home of Punjab FC on Tuesday, before they host Jamshedpur FC on December 29. There is undoubted quality and experience stuffed in this Odisha FC unit and that has reflected in their successes in the AFC Cup too. However, they need to brush aside these temporary phases of inconsistency that can take a big toll in their eventual outcome of the campaign.

Mumbai City FC, Chennaiyin FC seek turnarounds

Chennaiyin FC were nicely garnering some positive momentum before they were hit with a defeat against Punjab FC in New Delhi. However, Owen Coyle has had enough time to make corrections to that as the Marina Machans prepare to take on Mumbai City FC away from home on December 28. Chennaiyin FC have found their goal-scoring boots, thanks to a gifted frontline as they have struck the back of the net 15 times in 11 games.

Regardless of the purported gap in the quality of their squad and the Islanders, Coyle is capable of making his team take the game to the Islanders. Mumbai City FC heads into this match after a disappointing 2-0 defeat to the Kerala Blasters FC, which brought curtains down to their unbeaten start to the season. With two goalless draws and a defeat in the four matches since Petr Kratky took over, Mumbai City FC will be keen to find answers to their woes before the league break.

FC Goa looks to sign off the year in style

With Mumbai City FC’s loss in Kochi, FC Goa is the only team who is yet to face a defeat this season. With seven victories and two draws, their 23 points equals Bengaluru FC’s record from 2018-19 for the best start for any team in an ISL season after nine matches. The Gaurs now have a chance to go into the January break with a clean slate if they avoid a defeat in Guwahati against NorthEast United FC.

Manolo Marquez and his men have been relentless thus far, sweeping past even the best of opponents in sublime style. Their 4-1 victory against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant was the biggest loss that the Mariners have faced at home in ISL history, and the Gaurs look set to break many such records if they are able to continue this rich vein of form for the rest of the campaign.

Team of the Week

Goalkeeper: Amrinder Singh (Odisha FC)

Defenders: Nishu Kumar (East Bengal FC), Suresh Meitei (Punjab FC), Marko Leskovic (Kerala Blasters FC), Jessel Carneiro (Bengaluru FC)

Midfielders: Amarjit Singh Kiyam (Punjab FC), Suresh Singh Wangjam (Bengaluru FC), Madih Talal (Punjab FC)

Forwards: Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa), Dimitrios Diamantakos (Kerala Blasters FC), Daniel Chima Chukwu (Jamshedpur FC)

ISL Fantasy Data

Points- 77

Average points: 40

Top 5 point scorers:

Daniel Chima Chukwu- 14 points

Bipin Singh- 11 points

Noah Sadaoui- 11 points

Dimitrios Diamantakos – 9 points

Kwame Peprah – 9 points

Ones to watch:

Kwame Peprah

Amey Ranawade

Sandesh Jhingan

Bipin Singh

If not registered already, fans can participate in the overall league or club-based leagues based on their preferences. Create private leagues, inviting friends and fellow football aficionados to compete. Prizes include a Sony PlayStation®️5 gaming console, EA Sports FC 24, signed club merchandise, and a Gift Card worth INR 20,000, will be awarded to 100 winners at the end of the season.

Where to catch the ISL action

Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 SD & HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam) & DD Bangla (Bengali). In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.

Also Read: Upbeat Punjab FC look to breach difficult Odisha FC backline

Also Read: Christmas gift for yellow army as Kerala Blasters FC bring in a joyous win over Mumbai City FC

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