New Delhi: Defending champions Mohun Bagan will begin their title defence in the opening match of the I-League against newcomers Aizawl FC at home on January 9 next year.
Mohun Bagan are also scheduled to host arch rivals East Bengal at the Salt lake stadium on January 23 while the return leg of the contest is slated to be played on April 2, an All India Football Federation (AIFF) statement said on Thursday.
Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen is upbeat about his team's ability to defend the title.
"Last season is history now and we’ve to start from a scratch. Everything will start from zero in the new season. There’s no room for complacency and everyone will be on same platform on 9th January", Sanjoy Sen said in a AIFF release.
Aizawl FC were promoted to the top division after winning the second division league last season. They will be the first team from Mizoram to compete in the I-League and will host Bengaluru FC on January 16.
Fellow newcomers Pune-based DSK Shivajians will host Mohun Bagan on January 30 at the Balewadi Stadium.