From ATK Mohun Bagan to East Bengal and Kerala Blasters, a sneak peek into the play-offs qualification scenarios of nine teams…
Mumbai City became the first team in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season to book a top-four berth after their entertaining 3-3 draw against FC Goa on Monday.
With the draw, the Islanders now have 34 points from 16 matches and have reached the play-offs after having missed out last season.
With Mumbai’s play-offs spot already sealed, the remaining three slots are now up for grabs for teams placed between 2nd to 10th on the points table.
After their win over Bengaluru on Tuesday, ATK Mohun Bagan’s job is the easiest among all the nine teams who are in the race for the play-offs, as just a point from their remaining four matches will confirm their spot in the play-offs.
With the race to the top-four heating up at the business end of the season, we take a look at the scenarios of all the nine teams who can still make it to the play-offs this season.
ATK Mohun Bagan (M-16, P-33)
The Mariners are the closest to confirm a play-offs berth. Their next four matches are against Jamshedpur, East Bengal, Hyderabad and Mumbai City respectively. They need just a point to book a top-four berth. Also, if Hyderabad drop points against East Bengal on Friday then 33 points which they have at present will be sufficient for ATK Mohun Bagan to make it to the play-offs.
In case Hyderabad FC, NorthEast United and FC Goa remain tied on points at the end of the league stage, the points accumulated in the matches between the three teams will be considered to determine the qualifier or qualifiers.
Hyderabad FC (M-16, P-23)
Hyderabad’s last four fixtures are against East Bengal, Kerala Blasters, Mohun Bagan and FC Goa respectively. The Nizams have the toughest fixture list compared to their competitors (NorthEast United and FC Goa) for the play-offs, as they have to face second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan and FC Goa in their last two games.
Also if they manage to win all their remaining games they will automatically qualify as that will mean that FC Goa can reach a maximum of 32 points. If they manage to get 30 points, then Hyderabad will only have to worry about NorthEast and FC Goa since none of the bottom six teams can surpass that mark.
NorthEast United (M-16, P-23)
NorthEast United have the easiest run as their last four matches are against the bottom four teams on the league table, Odisha FC, Chennaiyin FC, East Bengal and Kerala Blasters.
The Highlanders will go through if they win their remaining matches considering Goa and Hyderabad have to face each other in their last match. If they manage to get to 30 points, then NorthEast will only have to worry about Hyderabad and FC Goa since none of the bottom six teams can surpass that mark.
FC Goa (M-16, P-23)
FC Goa face bottom-placed sides Chennaiyin and Odisha, mid-table side Bengaluru and play-off rival Hyderabad in their last four encounters.
If they will their remaining matches which includes Hyderabad FC in their final game then they will make it to the play-offs as the Nizams will be left behind with 32 points. If they manage to get to 30 points, then FC Goa will only have to worry about NorthEast and Hyderabad since none of the bottom six teams can surpass that mark.
Bengaluru FC (M17, P-19)
Bengaluru FC’s last-three fixtures are against Mumbai City, FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC. Their fixture list is one of the toughest as they meet two top of the table sides in their last three encounters.
Winning all three matches will take the Blues’ points tally to 28 and then in order to qualify, they must hope that two out of the three teams – NorthEast United, FC Goa and Hyderabad FC – do not get more than four points in their remaining matches and the teams below them drop at least a point.
Jamshedpur FC (M-16, P-18)
Jamshedpur FC face Chennaiyin, ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City and Bengaluru in their final four matches. If Jamshedpur win all their remaining matches they will reach 30 points and then hope that two out of Hyderabad, NorthEast United and FC Goa do not get more than six points in their final four matches.
Chennaiyin FC (M-16, P-17)
The former ISL champions take on Jamshedpur FC, FC Goa, NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters in their last four games and full points from all those ties will see them get to 29 points.
With 29 points, Chennaiyin will also hope that Jamshedpur drop two points and two out of Hyderabad, NorthEast United and FC Goa do not get more than five points in their final four matches.
East Bengal (M-16, P-16)
East Bengal’s win against Jamshedpur in their last match kept the Red and Golds in the hunt for a top-four berth but their chances are bleak. Their last four matches are against Hyderabad FC, rivals ATK Mohun Bagan, NorthEast United and Odisha FC.
The Red and Golds have to get 12 points from their last four matches which will take their point’s tally to 28. They will also hope that two out of Hyderabad, NorthEast United and FC Goa do not get more than four points in their last four ties. Also, Bengaluru must drop points, Jamshedpur must lose at least one game and Chennaiyin should drop points in one out of their remaining matches.
Kerala Blasters (M-16, P-15)
Much like East Bengal, Kerala Blasters too have to win their remaining four matches which are against Odisha FC, Hyderabad FC, Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United which will take their tally to 27 points.
After that they must hope that two out of Hyderabad, NorthEast United and FC Goa do not get more than three points in their last four ties and Bengaluru, Jamshedpur, Chennaiyin and East Bengal drop five, four, three and three points respectively in their remaining matches.
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