ISL 2019-20: Strength, weakness and what to watch for from each team

The 2019-20 season was the ISL's first as India's top division. SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images

Ahead of the 2019-20 ISL season, ESPN looks at the factors that could make the difference for each of the ten teams in the league. We pick out the one player to watch out for in each team, their biggest strength, the one nagging doubt that clouds their expectations from the new season, and what to watch out for from them.

(Note: the teams appear in the order they finished the last season in, starting with the champions.)

Bengaluru FC

Player: Sunil Chhetri

Strength: A midfield for the ages.

Doubt: Without Miku, will they struggle (however slightly) for goals?

W2W4: India's regular starting front three playing together over a whole season.

FC Goa

Player: Ferran Corominas

Strength: Consistent belief in philosophy.

Doubt: Can they push past the mental barrier that seems to stop them short in big games?

W2W4: More madcap entertainment from the league's most 'fun' team.

Mumbai City FC

Player: Modou Sougou

Strength: Pragmatic ability to focus on the results.

Doubt: Will they be able to push the envelope without a truly big star in the team?

W2W4: Very little, to be honest. Watching system triumph over individual as they grind their way to the playoffs.

NorthEast United FC

Player: Asamoah Gyan

Strength: At first glance, nothing stands out.

Doubt: Can Robert Jarni and Gyan settle in quickly enough to make a difference this season?

W2W4: Asamoah Gyan doing Asamoah Gyan things.

Jamshedpur FC

Player: Tiri

Strength: Depth of young Indian talent.

Doubt: Where do the goals come from?

W2W4: Amarjit Singh controlling midfield against bigger, better opponents than he's faced before.


Player: Roy Krishna

Strength: Fantastic depth in attack.

Doubt: Can the defence and midfield provide a stable platform for the men up top?

W2W4: The reigning A-league MVP combining with the exciting Indian talent in attack.

Hyderabad FC

(Note: Hyderabad FC have replaced FC Pune City)

Player: Marcelinho

Strength: See above.

Doubt: Will a thin, untested squad be able to compete?

W2W4: The team reigniting the love affair that Hyderabad once had with Indian football.

Odisha FC

Note: Delhi Dynamos have been rebranded as Odisha FC)

Player: Xisco Hernandez

Strength: A midfield well suited to translate Josep Gombau's philosophy to results.

Doubt: Having struggled for goals last season, can their strikers step up to the plate this time around?

W2W4: Hockey-mad Odisha showing their affection for football.

Kerala Blasters

Player: Bartholomew Ogbeche

Strength: Finally, a progressive coach and a midfield capable of playing ball.

Doubt: Can the players, used to the non-coaching of David James, adapt fast enough to the new chief's tactics?

W2W4: The crowd at the JLN Stadium getting to see a team that makes as much noise on the field as they do off it.

Chennaiyin FC

Player: Dhanpal Ganesh

Strength: Consistency in management, and a coach that trusts his youngsters.

Doubt: Who will step up to replace the charismatic, match-winning talent of Raphael Augusto?

W2W4: The return of a fully fit Dhanpal Ganesh bringing out the best in Anirudh Thapa.