Defending champs ATK Mohun Bagan to kick off ISL 2020-21 vs. Kerala Blasters

Defending champions ATK Mohun Bagan will kick off the new season against two-time finalists Kerala Blasters FC on November 20. Ron Gaunt / SPORTZPICS for ISL

The Indian Super League (ISL) has announced the first 11 rounds of fixtures for the 2020-21 season. The return of major sporting action to the country will be marked by defending champions ATK Mohun Bagan taking on Kerala Blasters on Friday, November 20, at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

SC East Bengal, meanwhile, will make their ISL debut against old/new rivals ATK Mohun Bagan. The newest edition of the Kolkata derby will be held on November 27 in Vasco. FC Goa, winners of last season's league stage, begin with a blockbuster against Bengaluru FC in Fatorda on November 22.

The entire league will be played behind closed doors under a bio-secure bubble in Goa across three venues -- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Fatorda), GMC Stadium (Bambolim), and Tilak Maidan (Vasco). With SC East Bengal's inclusion, the expanded league will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season. All 11 clubs play each other in a double round-robin format. As usual, the top four clubs on the points table at the end of the regular season qualify for the playoffs.

The first 11 rounds feature six double-headers -- all on Sundays. For now, the league has announced 55 fixtures -- with the last declared fixture being ATK Mohun Bagan vs. Mumbai City at Fatorda on Jan 11, 2021. The league has said that the schedule for the remaining matches will be published in December following clarity on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) competitions calendar. FC Goa are in the AFC Champions League, while ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC are in the AFC Cup.