We’re down to the business end of the 2022-23 Indian Super League season with all 11 teams having played at least 15 out of their 20 matches.

As of February 3, only 2020-21 champions Mumbai City FC and defending ISL champions Hyderabad FC have booked their places in the playoffs. Last season’s league winners Jamshedpur FC and NorthEast United FC are out of playoff contention with the rest of the seven teams fighting for four playoff spots.

The 2022-23 season will be the first to feature a new playoff system modeled after those in European leagues. Six teams will qualify for the playoffs which will crown the winner of the ISL.

The top two teams at the end of the league stage will qualify directly for the semifinals. Teams finishing between third and sixth will play a single-leg playoff to determine the other two semifinalists. The winner of each two-legged semifinal will face-off for the ISL trophy in the final.

ISL table as of February 3, 2023

Position Team Played Won Draw Lost Goal difference Points
1 Mumbai City FC 16 13 3 0 33 42
2 Hyderabad FC 15 11 2 2 21 35
3 Kerala Blasters 15 9 1 5 3 28
4 ATK Mohun Bagan 15 8 3 4 6 27
5 FC Goa 16 8 2 6 6 26
Odisha FC 16 7 2 7 -4 23
Bengaluru FC 16 7 1 8 -1 22
8 Chennaiyin FC 16 4 6 6 -4 18
9 East Bengal FC 15 4 0 11 -14 12
10 Jamshedpur FC 16 2 3 11 -16 9
11 NorthEast United FC 16 1 1 14 -30 4

With five match days to go, here’s a look at what the teams need to do to qualify for the play-offs.

Mumbai City FC (Q)

(P: 16, W: 13, D: 3, L: 0, Points: 42, Goal difference: 33)

(Fixtures: Hyderabad (H), FC Goa (A), Bengaluru FC (A), East Bengal FC (H))

Mumbai City FC were the first team to qualify for the playoffs this season and have been unplayable. With four matches left, the Islanders are aiming to secure the top spot which will not only assure them of a place in the semifinals, but also the League Winners Shield. And they will also be aiming to be the first team to go an entire league season unbeaten.

Hyderabad FC (Q)

(P: 15, W: 11, D: 2, L: 2, Points: 35, Goal difference: 21)

(Fixtures: Mumbai (A), Odisha (A), ATK Mohun Bagan (H), Jamshedpur FC (H), Kerala Blasters (A))

Hyderabad, like Mumbai, have qualified for the playoffs and will be aiming to finish in the top two to progress directly to the semifinals. Though it is unlikely they will finish outside the top-two, Manolo Marquez’s team need nine points from their remaining five matches to secure their place in the semis.

Kerala Blasters

(P: 15, W: 9, D: 1, L: 5, Points: 28, Goal difference: 3)

(Fixtures: East Bengal (A), Chennaiyin (H), Bengaluru (A), ATK Mohun Bagan (A), Hyderabad (H))

Last season’s beaten finalists, Kerala Blasters are well placed to qualify for the playoffs and need to win seven points off their remaining five fixtures. However, they face a difficult run of matches where they will be playing fellow playoff rivals. While on paper they should beat East Bengal, if they manage to secure a couple of draws or wins in their final four matches, the Blasters should ease into the knockout stage.

ATK Mohun Bagan

(P: 15, W: 8, D: 3, L: 4, Points: 27, Goal difference: 6)

(Fixtures: Bengaluru (H) Jamshedpur (A), Hyderabad (A), Kerala Blasters (H), East Bengal (A))

Picture the scene. Going into the final matchday, ATK Mohun Bagan need a point to make it to the playoffs only to see rivals East Bengal, marshalled by Stephen Constantine, pull off the perfect smash and grab to deny their eternal rivals.

That, however, may not come to pass. The most successful team in the ISL find themselves in fourth needing eight points to qualify for the knockouts. Out of their five matches, one involves a trip to strugglers Jamshedpur and home matches against Bengaluru and Kerala Blasters, both of whom ATK have beaten away.

FC Goa

(P: 16, W: 8, D: 2, L: 6, Points: 26, Goal difference: 6)

(Fixtures: Odisha (A) Mumbai City FC (H), Chennaiyin (H), Bengaluru (A))

FC Goa ended a four-match winless run, which included disappointing 2-2 draws against Jamshedpur and NEUFC, with back-to-back morale-boosting wins over the Blasters and East Bengal. Iker Guarrotxena has been the man in form scoring a 12-minute hat-trick against EBFC. The Gaurs have found their form at the right time with four difficult fixtures to end their season including the visit of the unbeaten and free-scoring Mumbai City FC.

Odisha FC

(P: 16, W: 7, D: 2, L: 7, Points: 23, Goal difference: -4)

(Fixtures: Goa (H) Hyderabad (H), NorthEast United FC (A), Jamshedpur (H))

After winning four of their opening six fixtures, Odisha have won just three from their next 10 matches. Of the seven teams in playoff contention, Josep Gombau’s men have the arguably easier run of fixtures. After hosting Goa and Hyderabad, Odisha will end their league campaign with a trip to the North East followed by hosting Jamshedpur at home. Six points off their last two matches should be enough to keep them in sixth place.

Bengaluru FC

(P: 16, W: 7, D: 1, L: 8, Points: 22, Goal difference: -1)

(Fixtures: ATK Mohun Bagan (A) Kerala Blasters (H), Mumbai City FC (H), FC Goa (H))

Perhaps the in-form team after leaders Mumbai and Hyderabad, Bengaluru FC have peaked at the right time winning four of their last five fixtures to keep them in the hunt. However, Simon Grayson’s team have the toughest run of fixtures of all the other playoff hopefuls. After travelling to Kolkata to face ATKMB, Bengaluru will host the Blasters, Mumbai City and Goa. The Blues will need their fans to back them at their fortress to sneak into the knockouts.

Chennaiyin FC

(P: 16, W: 4, D: 6, L: 6, Points: 18, Goal difference: -4)

(Fixtures: Kerala Blasters (A), East Bengal (H), FC Goa (A), NorthEast United FC (H))

Chennaiyin FC felt robbed off a win in their last match against Odisha FC after contentious refereeing decisions marred a crucial match.The 2-2 draw leaves the two-time champions in a precarious position. They need to win all four of their remaining matches which includes the vists of EBFC and NEUFC. They also need Bengaluru and Odisha to not win any of their matches to have any hopes of making it to the knockouts.

East Bengal FC

(P: 15, W: 4, D: 0, L: 11, Points: 12, Goal difference: -14)

(Fixtures: Kerala Blasters (A), NorthEast United FC (A), Chennaiyin FC (A), Mumbai City FC (H), ATK Mohun Bagan (H))

Though they have won only four matches, East Bengal still have a mathematical chance of finishing in the top six. They will need to win all five of their remaining matches, a highly unlikely task, and need Odisha, Bengaluru and Chennaiyin to lose all their matches. Realistically, Constantine’s men might just end up being the kingmakers and scupper the playoff hopes of the other teams.

Jamshedpur FC (9 points) and NorthEast United FC (4 points)

Both teams are out of playoff contention and will battle it out to avoid finishing last.