As we head into this fortnight's international break, we welcome you to round 3 of ESPN's ISL Power Rankings. (Round 2 of the Power Rankings)
The Indian Super League (ISL) will resume on Wednesday after an international break, and the first nine matches have already produced their share of upsets and breakout performances at either end of the points table.
What are the things to watch for when Delhi Dynamos host ATK to kick-start the next phase of matches?
The unlikely contenders for top of the table
Chennaiyin FC have long been known as slow starters, but even head coach John Gregory would be surprised at the poor output...
Last season, Bengaluru topped the ISL league table with 40 points -- eight clear of their nearest rivals, Chennaiyin FC. The football they played over the course of the tournament had been at a level unmatched by anyone else in it. No team conceded fewer goals. Only Goa scored more. Their goal difference, at the end of the league, stood at 19 -- five ahead of the Goans and 14 ahead of Chennai.
In the final, they dominated for vast swathes. They kept the ball well. They moved the ball well. They...
"Where are the marquee signings?" I can hear you yell. "Where are the Berbatovs and the Forlans and the Del Pieros?"
Hopefully the answer to all that is: "Consigned to history."
The ISL seems to have moved away from the idea that signing a big, big, name -- irrespective of current form or state of physical fitness -- guarantees success and is moving towards a more holistic, 'let's buy people that our sides actually need' philosophy that most sensible footballing entities ought to follow. As Kerala...
The first line sums up their previous seasons, while the second looks at their upcoming campaign. A bonus pre-season prediction of the four teams that will feature in the playoffs.
Been the league's heavyweights, but last season needs erasing fast.
Under Coppell, expect more discipline, but who will fetch goals?
Best for most part on debut, before slipping in final.
The nucleus remaining the same, can they maintain standard throughout?