The 2015 Indian Super League (ISL) will kick-off on 3 October as defending champions Atletico de Kolkata take on Chennaiyin at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the southern state of India. It is the second season of the league and has been an instant success.
Football fans supporting European clubs may not be aware of the professional league in India, so IBTimes UK brings you all you need to know about the second season of the Indian Super League.
The first season of ISL had eight teams and there have been no changes for the 2015 season. Atletico de Kolkata won the title in the opening season after defeating Kerala Blasters in the final in 2014. This season, they are joined by six other teams: Chennaiyin FC, Delhi Dynamos, FC Goa, Mumbai City FC, NorthEast United and FC Pune City.
Each team will play seven matches twice in the course of the season, which includes a home and an away fixture. After the end of the regular season, the top four teams progress to the knockout phase.
In the knockout round, the team that finishes first will take on the fourth place team in the first semi-final. The other semi-final clash will be between the teams that finished second and third.
The semi-final will be a two-legged tie played as each team will play a home and an away fixture. After the end of the both legs, the teams with the better aggregate will make it to the final.
If the aggregate scores are tied, then the team with the better away goal record will make it to the final. Should it happen that after both legs, the scores are tied and even the away goals are the same, the course of the match will be decided by extra time. If the aggregate scores are tied, then the outcome will be decided by penalties.
Each team will have a home stadium, where they will play all their home fixtures. The eight stadiums are below.
Atletico de Kolkata: Salt Lake Stadium
Chennaiyin FC: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Chennai)
FC Goa: Fatorda Stadium
Delhi Dynamos: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Delhi)
Mumbai City FC: DY Patil Stadium
Kerala Blasters: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Kochi)
NorthEast United: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium
FC Pune City: Balewadi Sports Complex
The point system in the ISL is the same as that of the Premier League and the other leagues in England and across the major European leagues. The winning team gets three points and the losing team will be leave the match empty handed. In case of a draw, both teams will share a point.
Each team should have one marquee player in the squad. It can be same as the first season or the team has the option to sign a new player.
Atletico de Kolkata: Helder Postiga
Chennaiyin FC: Elano
Delhi Dynamos: Roberto Carlos
FC Goa: Lucio
Kerala Blasters: Carlos Marchena
Mumbai City FC: Nicolas Anelka
NorthEast United: Simao Sabrosa
FC Pune City: Adrian Mutu
In addition to the marquee players, each team will be allowed to retain one to five foreign players and one to six Indian players from the last season. Each team should have a minimum of 22 players and a maximum of 25, with the addition of two development Indian players.