The race for the top six spots in the I-League is set to go right down to the wire with three teams still in the running to secure a place in Group A of Phase 2, which has two vacant spots.
Aizawl FC are currently in seventh place with 12 points, three ahead of Sudeva Delhi FC in eighth place, with one match remaining in the first phase, Churchill Brothers FC Goa, Real Kashmir FC and Gokulam Kerala FC have all secured berths in the top six, thanks to an unassailable points advantage.
Additionally, RoundGlass Punjab FC are also through to the top six as they hold a three-point lead over Aizawl and have a better head-to-head record over the Mizo side courtesy of a 1-0 win on January 9.
In the bottom half, Indian Arrows, NEROCA FC, Chennai City FC, and Sudeva Delhi FC cannot enter the top six as they are behind Mohammedan SC in sixth place by four points or more.
Thus, it is a race between three sides — TRAU FC, Mohammedan SC, and Aizawl FC — for the fifth and sixth spots on the points table going into Round 11. With all three teams in action one after the other on Sunday, the tussle promises to be an enthralling one.
In the first match, Mohammedan Sporting (13 points) take on an unbeaten Real Kashmir at 2 pm, with the Black Panthers behind TRAU (13 points) by virtue of an inferior goal difference (their match ended in a 2-2 draw, hence they cannot be separated on head-to-head).
Next, TRAU will face Sudeva Delhi FC in Kalyani at 4 pm, followed by a 7 pm kick-off when Aizawl FC will cross swords against Chennai City FC, a clash between two former champions.