Chencho Gyeltshen
Chencho Gyeltshen is the top-scorer for league leaders Minerva Punjab.IANS

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the next season of India's premier football league — I-League — the ongoing edition is set for an exciting finish as there will be a four-way battle for the title on the final matchday on Thursday, March 8.

Minerva Punjab, who had avoided relegation in their first season at the top-tier league in 2016/17, have rallied against odds. They are a win away from creating history. The league leaders, who have 32 points from 17 matches, host ninth-placed Churchill Brothers, who are in the relegation zone.

Powerhouses Kingfisher East Bengal and Mohun Bagan were considered the favorites, especially after former champions Bengaluru FC joined the glamor-filled cash-rich Indian Super League (ISL) ahead of the ongoing season. The two Kolkata clubs are still in the race, having clinched 30 points each, but will end up empty-handed if Minerva beat Churchill Brothers on Thursday.

While third-placed Mohun Bagan have traveled to Kozhikode to take on seventh-placed Gokulam FC, East Bengal will host fellow title contenders Neroca FC at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

Here's a quick guide to the three fixtures on the final day.

Minerva Punjab vs Churchill Brothers

Venue: Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Panchkula

Start time: 3 pm IST

TV Channel: Star Sports 2/HD; Live stream: Hotstar

Minerva are the favorites to win their maiden league title on the final match day, given that they are taking on strugglers Churchill Brothers in front of their home crowd. Khogen Singh's men could have secured the title earlier but four defeats from six matches in February hurt their title hopes.

Nonetheless, the Panchkula-based side will be raring to make the final opportunity count on Thursday. Three points would give them the title but their Margao-based opposition are expected to go all out in their last match as nothing less than a win will help them avoid relegation.

East Bengal vs Neroca FC

Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata

Start time: 3 pm IST

TV Channel: Star Sports 1/HD; Live stream: Hotstar

East Bengal had an opportunity to match Minerva on points on Monday (March 5) when they took on Shillong Lajong. However, Khalid Jamil's men squandered an early lead and settled for a draw.

The Reds and Golds have another opportunity, this time at home, where they are expected to have a lot of support. However, they can expect stiff competition from fellow title contenders and second-placed Neroca, who are heading into the match on the back of a defeat to Mohun Bagan.

Jamil, who won the league title with Aizawl FC last season, rued East Bengal's "silly mistakes" against Shillong and wants his team to make good use of their "last chance".

Gokulam FC vs Mohun Bagan

Venue: EMS Stadium, Kozhikode

Start time: 3 pm IST

Live stream: Hotstar

Even three points on the final match day don't guarantee Mohun Bagan a league title as the third-placed side's chances also depend on the results of the other games. However, they will end up victorious if Minerva and the two Kolkata franchises end up with 33 points due to their superior head-to-head records.

The hosts will also be gunning for revenge as there were beaten by Gokulam in the reverse fixture at Salt Lake Stadium last month. However, Shankarlal Chakraborty's men managed to get back to winning ways and have collected nine points from their last three matches.