Like in the previous season, three venues in Goa – Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Tilak Maidan in Vasco and GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim – will host matches in the eighth edition of the League. However, what is going to be different is a significant rule change – increase in the number of Indian players to seven in the playing eleven as opposed to six in the last three seasons.
The cap on the foreigners – maximum of four on the pitch at a time – is in compliance with AFC’s competition regulations. On the eve of the opener, ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Habas said that his team would stick to its style against Kerala Blasters but added that it would take the field with nothing but respect for its opponent.
ATKMB boasts of a star-studded unit, including the attacking trio of Roy Krishna, David Williams and Hugo Boumous. Meanwhile, KBFC will aim to begin its campaign on a high under Ivan Vukomanovic and register its first win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the 11-team League.