XtraTime Web Desk: The tentative fixture for the 2018-19 season of the I-League is leaked as the opening match is supposed to take place on 26th October with Chennai City facing Floyd Pinto’s Indian Arrows at the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore.
Eyes would be on the defending champions Minerva Punjab FC, who will open their campaign after two days when they will host Churchill Brothers at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Chandigarh, at their new home ground on 28th October.
Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan & East Bengal both will feature on the second day of the first round, on 27th October. East Bengal will play the away game against NEROCA FC in Imphal and Mohun Bagan to play an away game against Gokulam Kerala FC in Kozhikode.
Shillong Lajong and Aizawl FC lock horns in a NorthEast India derby to complete the first round of fixtures. Newly-promoted side Real Kashmir FC only features from the second round when they undertake a quick away trip to Minerva Punjab on 31st October.
The proposed date of the all awaited Kolkata Derby is 16th December at the Salt Lake Stadium. The twelfth edition of the I-League will feature eleven teams and sees the addition of four new venues. Minerva Punjab shifts base to Chandigarh while Indian Arrows will play some of their games at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack and the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. Srinagar, in Jammu and Kashmir, the home of Real Kashmir FC also sees its first ever I-League game played on 6th November.
Overall, 110 matches will be played across eleven rounds as the league eyes a tentative finish in the second week of March, right before the international break. Remarkably, all the matches won’t be telecasted live while streaming shall be made available on the host broadcaster’s online platform and mobile applications.
Unlike its counterpart, the Indian Super League (ISL), the I-League will have no break in the middle during the AFC Asian Cup which runs from 5 January to 1 February. India play their group stage games between 6 January and 14 January.