ISL 10: A Deeper Look At The Season Thus Far

Author: Gautam Varier

It has been a whirlwind start to the 2023-24 Indian Super League season, as we have seen some rather surprising results through Matchday 3. There have been no surprises with regard to one team, however, with pre-season favorite Mohun Bagan Super Giant off to a perfect start with three wins on the trot.

They sit at the top, with FC Goa and reigning premiers Mumbai City FC being the only other unbeaten teams left in this season. The Islanders have been led by Jorge Pereyra Diaz, who is the early front-runner for the Golden Boot with four goals, while the Gaurs have the electrifying Noah Sadaoui leading the way.

On the other end of the table, Chennaiyin FC and Hyderabad FC are the only teams yet to pick up a point, with the latter seemingly set to have a huge drop-off from last season. Having had a look at things at the surface level, let’s have a bit of a deeper look at how the season has gone so far.

Unsurprisingly, the top three all find themselves among the top five for possession, with Mohun Bagan even a cut above the rest here. Hyderabad being that high up but failing to pick up a point suggests the lack of a cutting edge, and that shows in them averaging a league-low 8.0 shots per game. The top three in the table, in contrast, are all in the top five.

The one taking most of those for the Gaurs is Sadaoui, who is at a ridiculous 7.5 shots per 90 at the moment. Brandon Fernandes has provided a helping hand there, with a league-leading 3.5 key passes per game. While Goa have been quite adventurous, the top two in the standings are well clear of the pack in terms of creating clear-cut chances.

A bit of a problem for Mumbai, though, is that they have already missed five big chances this season in three games. Rostyn Griffiths has two of them, the most in the competition so far. He and they need to get those shooting boots on.

On to the defensive end now, and the Blasters have certainly been the busiest, being the only team to rank in the top 2 for tackles and interceptions per game.

Young Blasters midfielder Yumkhaibam Jiteshwor Singh has been the most prolific tackler in the division with 3.5 per 90 while right-back Ankit Mukherjee is at the top of the interceptions charts with 4.5 per 90.

When it comes to defending from the front, however, it is the Gaurs who have been the most effective.

While Sadaoui has been banging in those shots, he has been putting in the hard yards too. He and Chennaiyin’s Rahim Ali are at the top when it comes to possession won in the final third per 90 at three apiece.

Last but not least we get to the goalkeepers and Rehenesh TP has been a class apart thus far. The 30-year-old boasts of an excellent save percentage of 91.7%, with no one else even managing to get to 80.0%. He has kept two clean sheets in the process and helped Jamshedpur have the best defensive record in the division so far.

It is still early doors, of course, and there is plenty of time for the script to be flipped. The top two, though, seem set to stay there and it remains to be seen if anyone among the chasing pack can keep pace for the length of the season.

Stat Credit: Opta

Pic Credit: ISL

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