2020–21 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season will be the 7th edition of the top professional football league in India. The season will start from 20th November 2020 and is expected to end by March 2021 without any COVID interruption. This year’s season will be hosted behind-closed-doors across three venues in Goa due to the ongoing pandemic in India.
The Venues: GMC Stadium Bambolim, Tilak Maidan Stadium, and Fatorda Stadium
Defending Champion: Atlético de Kolkata FC (Will be competing under the new name ATK Mohun Bagan this season
Runners Up: Chennaiyin FC
League Shield Winners: Goa FC
Last Season standing of ATK FC: Winners
ATK Mohun Bagan FC
The biggest festival of Indian Football is coming back. The carnival of football will be celebrating its 7th year. The Coronavirus pandemic might have tamed the preparations and arrangements a bit but the fans can’t wait for ISL to be back. Even though it will be played behind closed doors, but the fans are ready. Social media is heating up. The banter game is firing up.
ATK FC is one of the hot favourites of ISL 2020-21. They finished their last season on a high by winning the title. This year they are expected to go full throttle for the win under the new name of ATK Mohun Bagan.
Antonio López Habas is the current manager for ATK Mohun Bagan FC. He delivered the title to ATK FC last season and has been retained by the club for this term.
López is a very experienced manager who has had managerial stints in Europe, South America, South Africa and in Thailand before plying his trade in the ISL. He has also managed the Bolivian National Team at two Copa America tournaments.
In the ISL López has managed FC Pune city and ATK FC with whom he has won two League titles, thus becoming the first manager to achieve this feat twice with the same team.
Major Transfer News and New Signings
ATK Mohun Bagan FC has managed to retain the core group of foreign players from ATK FC for the seventh season of the ISL. Most important in the list of retained players is Fijian Footballer Roy Krishna who was the joint top scorer of last season and a key figure in the title winning campaign for ATK FC. ATK Mohun Bagan FC has also managed to retain key players such as David Williams, Edu Garcia, Javier Hernandez, and Carl McHugh.
ATK Mohun Bagan FC has managed to sign back the Spaniard Tiri from Jamshedpur FC, who also has won the title for ATK in 2016. His partnership with Sandesh Jhingan will be a big boost for ATK Mohun Bagan
Bradden Inman has been signed by ATK Mohun Bagan who is an Aussie midfielder. He is a youth product of the premier league side Newcastle United. He is expected to bring balance to the midfield along with the likes of Carl McHugh, Pronay Halder and Javi Hernandez.
For the first time the biggest derby in the world, The Kolkata Derby also which is known as “Boro Match” will be played in the ISL. This fixture is traditionally played between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan and both the clubs have been merged in the ISL this season. The fixture is almost 100 years old and the intensity could not be higher.
Another intense rivalry is that of Goa and ATK. Goa and Bengal also are traditional rivals and since the inception of ISL, the intensity has gone only higher. So far the Kolkata based side seems to be the more decorated side with two titles under their belt while Goa has managed to get the second position twice but never crossed the final hurdle.
With the merge with Mohun Bagan, the Kolkata based club has gained a new dimension altogether. Their fanbase has grown immensely and so have their expectations.
ATK Mohun Bagan has managed to retain most of their core players and their manager from their title winning season last year and are determined to defend their title.
With the introduction of their arch rivals East Bengal, ATK Mohun Bagan will not want to fall behind their local rivals at any cost.
Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya, Dheeraj Singh, Avilash Paul, Arsh Shaikh, Aryan Lamba
Defenders: Tiri, Pritam Kotal, Prabir Das, Sandesh Jhingan, Subashish Bose, Sumit Rathi
Midfielders: Pronay Halder, Brad Inman, Javi Hernandez, Edu Garcia, Carl McHugh, Glan Martins, Jayesh Rane, Michael Soosairaj, Boris Singh, Michael Regin, Sk Sahil, Ningombam Engson Singh
Forwards: David Williams, Roy Krishna, Manvir Singh, Md. Fardin Ali