Minerva Punjab FC
File photo: Minerva Punjab are on top of the I-League 2017/18 with 32 points from 17 matches.IANS

The top four teams in contention to win the I-League with one more game left for each club in the 2017/18 season.

Minerva Punjab FC are currently leading the table with 32 points after 17 games, leading second place Neroca FC by a point. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are currently sitting in third and fourth spot respectively with 30 points. These four clubs have an opportunity to lift the title in their last fixture of this campaign.

The Mariners will face Gokulam Kerala FC and the Red & Gold Brigade and the Punjab based outfit will be in action on March 8. IBTimes India will look at the conditions for these top four clubs to win the title this season.

Points table as of 4pm on March 6

Teams Mat Win Draw Lost GF GA GD Points
Minerva Punjab FC 17 10 2 5 23 16 7 32
Neroca FC 17 9 4 4 19 12 7 31
Mohun Bagan 17 8 6 3 27 13 14 30
East Bengal 17 8 6 3 31 18 13 30
Aizwal FC 18 6 6 6 21 18 3 24
Shillong Lajong FC 18 6 4 8 17 25 -8 22
Gokulam Kerala FC 17 6 2 9 16 22 -6 20
Chennai City FC 18 4 7 7 15 24 -9 19
Churchill Brothers FC Goa 17 5 2 10 17 27 -10 17
Indian Arrows 18 4 3 11 13 24 -11 15

If two or more teams have the same points, then the criteria that will be considered are as follows:

  1. Teams which have achieved more points when they faced each other
  2. Goal differences of the matches involved in the above condition
  3. Highest number of goals scored in the first condition
  4. Overall goal difference
  5. Highest number of goals scored in the season
  6. Drawing of lots

Fixtures for the top four teams

  • Gokulam Kerala FC v Mohun Bagan
  • East Bengal v Neroca FC
  • Minerva Punjab FV v Churchill Brothers

How can Minerva Punjab FC win the title?

  • Opposition: Churchill Brothers
  • Date: March 8
  • Points: 32
  • League position: First

Minerva Punjab have 32 points after 17 games. They are three points away from clinching their first silverware in their club's history. They have never won a competition or a tournament since their inception and a win over the Goan outfit will be sufficient for them to lift the title on Thursday.

Should they fail to beat Churchill and if the remaining three teams fail to register a win, then the Warriors will clinch the title. Even if Neroca FC settle for a draw and are level on points with Minerva Punjab, the latter will go on to win the league as they have managed to beat Gift Raikhan's side on both the occasions this season.

How can Neroca FC win the title?

  • Opposition: East Bengal
  • Date: March 8
  • Points: 31
  • League position: Second

The Northeast club are currently second in the table with one point behind Khogen Singh's side. Only a victory over East Bengal and a defeat for Minerva Punjab at the hands of Churchill Brothers will see them win the title.

If Neroca FC and the league leaders, both go on to win their respective fixture, the latter will lift the title. A defeat or a draw will not do any good to Raikhan's men as that will end their hope of winning the league.

How can Mohun Bagan win the title?

  • Opposition: Gokulam Kerala FC
  • Date: March 8
  • Points: 30
  • League position: Third

For Mohun Bagan to win the title, they will have to beat Gokulam Kerala FC on Thursday. A draw or a defeat will only end their remote hope for the side that are sitting in third spot in the I-League table.

Even if they manage to beat the Kerala-based club, they will then have to hope that Minerva Punjab and Neroca FC lose their respective fixtures. Even if the league leaders are forced to settle for a point against Churchill, Minerva Punjab will lift the title due to their better record against the Kolkata outfit.

How can East Bengal win the title?

  • Opposition: Neroca FC
  • Date: March 8
  • Points: 30
  • League position: Fourth 

East Bengal are fourth in the table and it is important for the Red & Goal Brigade to beat second-place Neroca FC to stay in the title race. Anything less than a defeat will end their hope of clinching the title.

Should they manage to beat the Northeastern club, then they have to hope that Churchill Brothers avoid a defeat at the hands of Minerva Punjab and Mohun Bagan fails to beat Gokulam Kerala on March 6.