The Hero Indian Super League season of 2017 promises to be bigger and better as football is a growing sport in India. All the latest Indian Super League betting tips & predictions for the season three can be found below.
The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) will begin its fourth season in November, and continue until April next year, the first time it has enjoyed such an extended run.
This year the competition has been expanded to include 10 teams, with Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur joining the league for the first time.
As the ISL follows the US MLS model, and is franchise-based, instead of using the promotion and relegation system common in most other leagues, the two new teams will have time to establish themselves this year.
The ISL is still very much in its infancy, and its efforts to make football a top sport in India will always struggle in a country where cricket very much dominates the back, and sometimes the front pages, of newspapers and mainstream media.
ISL 2017 Betting Tips & Predictions here (with bet365)
Will be updated closer to the start of the season
Nevertheless, TV coverage of games has brought in millions of viewers, particularly amongst women and children.
Current champions and 2014 winners Atlético de Kolkata must be regarded as the team to beat again this season, especially as their worldwide profile has been raised with the appointment of former Manchester United and Tottenham player, and England international, Teddy Sherringham as their manager.
He joins fellow Englishmen, Steve Coppell, another ex-England international, the new manager of franchise newcomers, Jamshedpur, and John Gregory, formerly on Aston Villa and QPR, who will be managing in the League this season.
Gregory’s Chennaiyin FC, who won the title in 2015, can again expect to be challengers this year, whilst Kerala Blasters, runners-up in two of the three finals, can also be regarded as contenders.
However, with the ISL not starting until November, early predictions about the comparative strengths of the various teams are difficult to make because squads for the coming season have yet to be finalised.
The ISL has adopted the use of marquee players – past superstars whose presence helps build a fan base and benefit team performance. Past marquee players have included household names like Roberto Carlos, Robert Pirès and Nicolas Anelka.
The list for 2017 has yet to be announced but, when it is known, it could give a firmer indicator as to which teams are likely to be strong this season.
Atletico de Kolkata will kick-start the fourth edition of the Indian Super League in 2017 as favourites to win the title they had won last season.
They defeated the Kerala Blasters in a hard-fought final that saw them draw the game 1-1 before it moved into the penalty shoot-out where Kolkata registered a 4-3 victory.
Earlier, the Atletico de Kolkata overcame the Mumbai City FC while the Kerala Blasters defeated Delhi Dynamos in their respective semi-finals.
Earlier, the Mumbai City FC had finished at the top of the points table with 23 points from 14 games, while the Blasters had come second in that league table as well. The Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata finished third and fourth respectively, with Kolkata ending just two points ahead of Northeast United.
Pune City, Chennaiyin and Goa completed the eight-team points table with 16, 15 and 14 points respectively.
Atletico De Kolkata, also the champions of the inaugural season of the ISL, failed to defend their title in the second season. In a hotly contested final, the Goa FC had gone down to Chennaiyin 3-2 to lose the title, after having swept past the Delhi Dynamos in the semi-finals.
Chennaiyin had overcome Atletico de Kolkata 4-2 on aggregate in the other semi-final.
The ISL had begun in 2014 where Chennaiyin topped the points table and were followed by Goa, Atletico de Kolkata and Kerala Blasters. In the semi-finals, Kerala Blasters edged out Chennaiyin while two goalless draws between Kolkata and Goa were followed by a shoot-out which the former won 4-2.
In the final, Kolkata edged out Kerala to win the title.
According to latest news coming from the AIFF, the fourth season of the Indian Super League could have up to three more teams participating in the competition. New bids have been invited and three of 10 new cities could be in line to join the existing eight ISL sides.
A 11-team league will last that much longer and it means the ISL could look at a longer run of the competition throughout the year.
Get the latest ISL Betting Tips for 2017 below when they are released by the bookmakers.