Blues Begin ISL Journey With Back-To-Back Home Games As League Rolls Out 2017-18 Schedule
Bengaluru FC will begin the newest chapter in their history when they host Mumbai City FC in their first-ever Indian Super League clash at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, November 19.
Having won the bid to participate in the ISL back in June, the Blues, two-time champions of India, will now be hoping to carve out their niche in the competition, following their achievements in the I-League and the AFC Cup over the last few years.
With the league expanding to ten teams for the AFC-approved revamped 2017-18 season, Bengaluru FC are joined by newly formed Jamshedpur FC, and the competition will now be played over four-and-a-half month as opposed to the previous two-and-a-half month schedule. The change now allows the games to be played from Wednesdays to Sundays in a week, with majority of the fixtures scheduled towards the end of the week.
Bengaluru FC who begin their campaign against Mumbai City FC (Nov 19) will follow it with another home game against Delhi Dynamos (Nov 26), before going on a three-game away trip to FC Goa (Nov 30), NorthEast United (Dec 8) and FC Pune City (Dec 14). Another two home games against Chennaiyin FC (Dec 17) and Jamshedpur FC (Dec 21) will be followed by an away game as the Blues end 2017 with trip to Kerala Blasters (Dec 31). The last game of the first phase of the league will see the Blues host defending champions Atletico de Kolkata (Jan 7) in the first weekend of 2018.
The second phase of the league begins with back-to-back away games against Delhi Dynamos (Jan 14) and Mumbai City (Jan 18) before the Blues return to the Kanteerava to host NorthEast United (Jan 26) on Republic Day. Two away trips to former champions Chennaiyin FC (Jan 31) and Atletico de Kolkata (Feb 3) are followed by home games against FC Goa (Feb 8) and FC Pune City (Feb 16) in the business end of the campaign. The penultimate game of the league phase will see the Blues travel to Jamshedpur FC (Feb 25) before hosting Kerala Blasters (Mar 1) in the final game.
The teams which finish inside the top-4 in the league phase will then advance to the semifinal and later the grand final.
- The kick offs of evening matches have been moved from 7.00 PM IST to 8.00 PM IST.
- 15 out of 18 league matches of the Blues are scheduled at 8.00 PM. The rest three at 5.30 PM.
- Of their nine home games, the Blues play on four Sundays, three Thursdays and two Fridays. Five of these games will be played in the first half of the season, while four in the second half.
- The Blues will play for the first time in four new cities Delhi (Delhi Dynamos, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium), Guwahati (NorthEast United, Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium), Jamshedpur (Jamshedpur FC, JRD Tata Sports Complex) and Kochi (Kerala Blasters, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium) along with a new venue in Mumbai (Mumbai Football Arena).