Apart from the Indian Super League matchweek 20 featuring the return fixture of the Kolkata derby, this week will also be crucial for five other clubs who are vying for the last two playoff spots.
A total of five points separate third-placed NorthEast United FC and seventh-placed Jamshedpur FC and outcomes over the next two-three matchweeks will be significant in their ISL 2020-21 campaign.
Hyderabad FC vs Kerala Blasters
Hyderabad FC have evidently been the better side this season compared to Kerala Blasters, garnering 24 points from the first 17 matches. The Nizams have also been unbeaten in their last five matches unlike the Tuskers, who have lost twice in the same period.
However, Kerala hold the lead in their head-to-head record against Hyderabad FC, winning twice and drawing once in the three times they have faced each other.
|Hyderabad FC vs Kerala Blasters H2H
|Hyderabad FC||Metrics||Kerala Blasters|
Though past records favour Kerala to win this fixture, Kibu Vicuna will be wary of his team's leaky defence. Kerala have conceded 29 times this season, as opposed to Hyderabad's 17 goals.
FC Goa vs Odisha FC
The Gaurs will remain the favourites to win the fixture given their form and talent on paper. Despite Odisha FC's resurgence under new manager Gerry Peyton, the Juggernauts have failed to close matches this season and things are unlikely to change in the last few matchweeks.
|FC Goa vs Odisha FC H2H
|FC Goa||Metrics||Odisha FC|
Odisha FC and FC Goa have played thrice so far in ISL, with the Gaurs winning on all three occasions. Quite interestingly though, neither FC Goa nor Odisha FC have won a match in their last five games.
While FC Goa have stayed unbeaten, courtesy of Ishan Pandita's last-minute strikes, Odisha have lost thrice.
Chennaiyin FC vs NorthEast United FC
Two of the oldest ISL teams fighting it for superiority, Chennaiyin FC vs NorthEast United FC is expected to be intense, and in NEUFC's case, campaign defining.
The clubs have faced each other 13 times so far, with NEUFC winning 6 times and Chennaiyin thrice.
|Chennaiyin FC vs NorthEast United FC H2H|
|Chennaiyin FC||Metrics||NorthEast United FC|
Their recent form though, where NEUFC have won three games and lost none in their last five ISL matches and CFC have drawn thrice and lost twice, would suggest the Highlanders to be the overwhelming favourites.
ATK Mohun Bagan vs SC East Bengal
ATK Mohun Bagan's clinical 1-0 win over Jamshedpur FC was well deserved and they cemented their place at the top of the table after Mumbai City FC were stunned by Bengaluru FC in the last match of matchweek 19.
Antonio Lopez Habas wouldn't want to lose the top spot with only three league matches left and his next opponent aren't expected to be a hindrance either. Despite the rivalry between the two Kolkata giants, SCEB have struggled to find their feet this season, whereas ATKMB have done that majestically.
|ATKMB and SCEB in last 5 Matches|
|ATK Mohun Bagan||Metrics||SC East Bengal|
Jamshedpur FC vs Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC are facing a slump in the most inopportune moment. After leading the table for the most part of the ISL 2020-21 season, the Islanders are now struggling for form in the closing stages.
And they are up against an opponent who have held the edge over MCFC since their entry into ISL, winning three of the seven encounters.
|Jamshedpur FC vs Mumbai City FC H2H|
|Jamshedpur FC||Metrics||Mumbai City FC|
Jamshedpur FC come to the fixture with a slim chance of making it to the playoffs. With other results going their way, a JFC win could see them right in the middle for a grand finale in the last few matchweeks. Interestingly, JFC have won twice and drawn once in their last five matches, whereas MCFC have won just once and lost twice in the same period.
Feature Image Courtesy: Indian Super League