Following the successes of the Hero ISL and the Hero Federation Cup, the Indian football fraternity will now turn their attention to the country’s premier league- The I League. Eleven teams will fight for the prestigious trophy, with Bharat F.C the new direct entrant and Royal Wahingdoh, the newly promoted club from the I League 2nd division. Last season champions, Bengaluru F.C will be looking to defend their title, a feat that has never been accomplished in the I League before. Here is our preview for the event with a brief background of each team
1. Bengaluru F.C
- Manager: Ashley Westwood
- Captain: Sunil Chhetri
- Overseas Players: Joshua Walker, John Johnson, Curtis Osano and Sean Rooney
- Home Stadium: Sree Kanteerava Stadium
- Capacity: 40,000
The reigning champions of Indian football will be looking to defend their title, in what seems to be perhaps the most competitive season in the history of the I League. The Blues’ will definitely be high on confidence following their success in the recently concluded Hero Federation Cup. With none of his players featuring in the star studded Hero ISL, manager Ashley Westwood has had the better part of six months to organize his side and transform them into a well oiled machine.
However, the only aspect that will concern the Blues is perhaps the injury to marquee signing Josh Walker. The former England under-20 skipper hobbled off in the Federation Cup final in what seemed to be a serious injury to his left thigh. The attack comprising of the reliable Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Sean Rooney as well as the defensive paring of John Johnson and Curtis Osano will be key as the Blues attempt to defend their I League crown.