Kerala Blasters’ mammoth fan base will see their beloved club returning to the pitch on November 20 as the South Indian football club kicks off their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign against three-time champion ATK Mohun Bagan at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.
With the City Football Group injecting resources into Mumbai City FC throughout the summer, other ISL clubs had to pull up their socks to stay in the competition. Consequently, the 2020-21 ISL season has ended up with some of the most lethal attacking talents.
We have rated top ISL clubs according to the goal scorers they possess.
MUMBAI CITY FC
Following CFG’s blueprint in every other football club they own across the globe, Mumbai City FC re-announced their arrival into the league with proven goal-scorers like Bartholomew Ogbeche from Kerala Blasters and Hugo Boumous FC Goa. Coach Sergio Lobera also went after his former trusted general Ferran Corominas from Goa and when failed in his pursuit, he ended up buying A-League star Adam Le Fondre. The 33-year-old forward comes to ISL at the back of a prolific record of scoring 35 goals in 49 appearances, and alongside Ogbeche and Boumous, the former Premier League man poses a serious threat to the best of defences in ISL.
ATK MOHUN BAGAN
With financial resources and a glorious history already in their bag, ATK arrived at the 2020-21 season by roping in the envious fanbase of Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan, as the two sides merged for a new beginning. The huge occasion called for an ostentatious transfer window as well, and while ATK Mohun Bagan shelled out money, it was mostly on defence. Having two of the best forwards of ISL in David Williams and Roy Krishna, who had combined to get directly involved in 33 goals last season, it didn’t make sense to bring in more of the same. ATK Mohun Bagan’s management, however, enriched their attack by buying a well-built Manvir Singh, who, alongside the enigmatic Michael Soosairaj, complete a good enough attack to contend for the title. The attack looks so complete that Jobby Justin’s ACL injury bothers the club very little.
After a third-place finish last season, the 2018-19 ISL champions will look to make a comeback this time. In captain Sunil Chhetri, Carles Cuadrat has a veteran ISL star who has 39 goals in the tournament. He will be supported by compatriots Udanta Singh and Ashique Kuruniyan from either flank whose pace has made them a regular in the national team. Apart from the Indian trio, who has already stamped their quality in ISL, BFC have loaned in Norwegian Kristian Opseth from A-League’s Adelaide United to replace Raphael Augusto. Perfectly adept in playing as an attacking midfielder as well as a false number nine, fans will be expecting a lot from Opseth.
Not the most high-profile names on the roster, but Jamshedpur FC have made interesting improvements to their squad while being in tandem with their philosophy. In Owen Coyle JFC have a gaffer who can make an instant impact, which was evident in his brief stint with Chennaiyin FC. To further ease Coyle’s job, Jamshedpur shocked one and all to get in last season’s highest scorer Nerijus Valskis from the Marina Machans. Though Jamshedpur lack the seemingly unlimited resources of most ISL clubs, their structure of building their squad with a blend of big names and young blood hasn’t disappointed them yet. Big money import Valskis will be supported by the vibrant and hardworking Aniket Jadhav and David Grande from the flanks.
Despite boasting of some of the best players in ISL and the most proven managers over the years, Kerala Blasters are yet to win a title. After a huge summer investment prior to the 2019-20 season saw them getting in Ogbeche, Sergio Cidoncha and Mario Arques with Eelco Schattorie as the manager, a failed season has now seen them getting more practical and less ambitious. However, their new coach Kibu Vicuna has still managed to get in A-League star Gary Hooper, who has played in Premier League as well as the UEFA Champions League with clubs like Norwich City and Celtic. The proven goalscorer will have South American playmaker Facundo Pereyra standing behind him with his lethal left foot always looking for the perfect ball. Vicuna also has former A-League striker Jordan Murray in his ranks who could be the perfect backup for Hooper as the number 9.
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