Kochi, November 17: The fourth season of Hero Indian Super League, the refurbished Indian football league will kick off in Kochi on Friday. The first match of the season will be played between the Season 3 champions Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) and runners-up Kerala Blasters FC.
The fourth ISL season will see 10 teams in action this season, with the addition of Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC, which will result in a prolonged season lasting four months for the first time and will be featuring 95 matches. All 10 teams play each other in a home-and-away format in 90 games before the two-legged semi-finals which are scheduled to take place in the second week of March.
The season’s first doubleheader will see a repeat of the 2016 Final between Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa in Chennai followed by AFC Cup 2016 finalist, Bengaluru FC, getting their first taste of Hero ISL when they take on last season’s semi-finalists Mumbai City FC in a home match at Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, 19th November.
The season’s first Maharashtra derby between FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC will be played on November 29, 2017, at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune. Jamshedpur FC will play their first home match at the renovated JRD Tata Sports Complex Stadium against title holders ATK on December 1.
ISL is reflected as the country's top-tier league. The winner of the League will get a direct spot in the AFC Cup. The final is slated for March 17 in Kolkata.