I-League title race: Possible scenarios

Surprise package Minerva Punjab is the front runner at the moment with 32 points, closely followed by NEROCA (31), Mohun Bagan (30) and East Bengal (30).

Minerva Punjab vs East Bengal

Its a tight finish to the I-League with as many as four teams involved in the fight for the championship.   -  AIFF Media

The 2017-18 I-league season is heading towards a photo finish as four teams - Minerva Punjab, NEROCA FC, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal - remain in the title fray on the final day.

Surprise package Minerva is the front runner at the moment with 32 points, closely followed by NEROCA (31), Mohun Bagan (30) and East Bengal (30). While Minerva takes on Churchill Brothers at home, Mohun Bagan travels to face Gokulam Kerala, and East Bengal hosts NEROCA with a number of scenarios that could play out.

To make matters interesting, AIFF has scheduled all three matches at the same time on Thursday.

 

TeamMatches PlayedPoints
Minerva Punjab1732
NEROCA FC1731
Mohun Bagan1730
East Bengal1730

 

Minerva Punjab

Minerva is the only side among the four which has the championship fate in its own hands. A victory for Minerva will be enough for it to win a maiden I-League title. A draw or a loss may also do it for the Khogen Singh-coached side. But it will need East Bengal and Mohun Bagan to draw its respective matches.

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NEROCA

The I-League debutant can win the championship with a victory over East Bengal and hope that Minerva fails to beat Churchill. But a draw against the Kolkata giant will not be enough for the Gift Raikhan's side as Minerva has a better head-to-head record against them.

Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan will need to win against Gokulam Kerala and hope that both Minerva and NEROCA do not win their respective matches. If it comes to a head-to-head between the Kolkata clubs, Mohun Bagan will pip its long-term rival to its first title since 2014-15. In a three-way tie between Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Minerva, Mohun Bagan will once again emerge with the better record.

PREVIEW:  Much at stake for Bagan, Gokulam

East Bengal

East Bengal, which has never won the I-League before, requires a win over NEROCA to stand a chance to win the title. The Khalid Jamil-coached side will then need Minerva and Mohun Bagan to not win their matches to come out as the outright winner in the four-horse race. If East Bengal and Minerva finishes on 33 points, East Bengal has the favourable record between them.

 

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