HomeEventsDefensive Protectors: Top 5 Defenders To Watch in ISL 2023
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Defensive Protectors: Top 5 Defenders To Watch in ISL 2023

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Since its start, the Indian Super League (ISL) has featured strong defenders and some outstanding defense. Teams that have historically performed well in the tournament have always had a strong defense at their disposal. Some of these players gained significant attention and lived up to the hype, while others gradually built their audience through consistent performances. The Indian Super League will start from September 21 and end by March 2024. In this blog, we will look at five defenders to keep an eye on in the ISL 2023 season.

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Top 5 Defenders To Watch in ISL 2023

Player Name Team name
1.  Akash Mishra Mumbai City FC
2.  Mourtada Fall Odisha FC
3.  Slavko Damjanovi Bengaluru FC
4.  Aakash Sangwan Chennaiyin FC
5.  Anwar Ali Mohun Bagan Super Giant

Akash Mishra 

Top 5 Defenders To Watch in ISL 2023 - Akash Mishra | KreedOn
Source: Twiiter

Akash Mishra has been Hyderabad FC’s most consistent defender over the previous two ISL seasons. Mishra ticks all the boxes when it comes to positioning, off-the-ball moves, blocking crosses, and making timely tackles. Mishra’s work rate and precision crosses add considerably to his team’s offensive success. Moving to Mumbai City FC would provide him with more freedom to experiment with their attacking capabilities. The Indian international may establish a strong connection on the left wing with Bipin Singh, enhancing their offensive threat in that area. He is one of the best defenders and lets see how will he perform in the ISL 2023 season.

Mourtada Fall

Mourtada Fall | KreedOn
Image Source- Outlook India

Senegalese player Mourtada Fall is also a great defender in ISL. The 6’3″ tall defender will reunite with Sergio Lobera at Odisha FC and is expected to play a significant part for the Juggernauts this season. Fall, at 35, has a lot of expertise that he would want to share with the team’s other players. His dominating presence and game-reading abilities will be invaluable to Odisha FC as they embark on their new journey under Lobera. With 17 goals, Fall is the league’s highest-scoring defender, thanks to his exceptional heading accuracy. His timing and placement while attacking crosses and corners have led to countless goals for both FC Goa and Mumbai City FC, a skill he hopes to carry over to Odisha FC.

Slavko Damjanovi

Slavko Damjanovic | KreedOn
Image Source- The Hindu

The Montenegrin center-back has immense potential. Slavko Damjanovic is an aggressive defender whose physicality and quickness make him difficult to beat. His outstanding game reading makes him a force to be reckoned with. Last season, when he assisted Mohun Bagan Super Giant in winning the ISL Cup, only few strikers were able to get past this defensive rock. Damjanovic joined the Mariners midway through the season and quickly integrated into the team’s defence. He has 22 tackles, 11 interceptions, 38 clearances, and 8 blocks in the ISL 2022–23 season. Now that he has joined Bengaluru FC for this season, the center-back will be trying to pick up where he left off last season.


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Aakash Sangwan

Aakash Sangwan ISL | KreedOn
Source: Twitter

During his time with Chennaiyin FC, Sangwan has quickly developed into a highly versatile player. The full-back is known for his dynamic playing style, which combines defensive steadiness with offensive flair, making him a notable player the previous season. He frequently produces precise passes that create goal-scoring possibilities for his teammates, thanks to his strong left foot and outstanding ability to deliver precision crosses. Sangwan had the most assists among defenders in the ISL 2022–23 season, with five, while also adding to the Marina Machans’ defensive sturdiness with 63 tackles, 33 interceptions, 36 clearances, and 41 blocks.


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Anwar Ali

Top 5 Defenders To Watch in ISL 2023 | Anwar Ali | KreedOn
Source: Twitter

The Indian international is well-known for its brand recognition, distribution, and placement. In addition to satisfying all of the qualifications for a defender, Ali has demonstrated his ability to score from set pieces, which adds another dimension to his performances on the field. Ali scored one goal and had two assists last season. In addition, he has 36 tackles, 25 interceptions, 80 clearances, and 34 blocks. The 23-year-old has been in fantastic form since joining Mohun Bagan Super Giant, scoring three goals and serving as a mainstay at the back throughout their Durand Cup success and AFC Cup qualifiers.


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