ISL trophy | Photo Courtesy: ISL

The new season of Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 will begin from November 20 with defending champions ATK Mohun Bagan squaring off against Kerala Blasters FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) on October 31 announced the first 11 rounds of fixtures for the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL).

Marking the return of the first major live sporting action in the country, the 7th season of India’s premier football league will be entirely hosted in Goa under a bio-secure bubble amid strict COVID-19 protocols.

NorthEast United will begin their campaign on November 21 as they take on Mumbai City FC. The Highlanders will play on November 26 against Kerala Blasters, on November 30 against FC Goa, on December 5 against SC East Bengal, on December 8 against Bengaluru FC and on December 13 against Chennaiyin FC.

Further, the John Abraham-owned side will take on Jamshedpur FC on December 18, Odisha FC on December 22, ATK Mohun Bagan on January 3, 2021 and Hyderabad FC on January 8, 2021.

New entrants SC East Bengal will make their ISL debut playing in one of the oldest rivalries in Asian football – the Kolkata Derby. For the first time in ISL, SC East Bengal face ATK Mohun Bagan on November 27.

Hero ISL embarks on a unique season with the entire league to be played behind closed doors under a bio-secure bubble in Goa across three venues – JL Nehru Stadium at Fatorda, GMC Stadium at Bambolim and Tilak Maidan at Vasco.

With SC East Bengal’s inclusion, the expanded league will feature an unprecedented 115 games, up from 95 last season. All 11 clubs play each other in a double round-robin format. The top 4 clubs on the points table at the end of the regular season qualify for the playoffs.

The schedule for the remaining 55 league matches will be published in December post clarity on calendar dates of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) competitions matches.

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