Bengaluru FC begin I-League title defence at home against Lajong

All ten teams of the 2016-17 I-League will be in action over the opening weekend of January 7 and 8, with newcomers Chennai City hosting fellow debutants Minerva Punjab FC.

Defending champions Bengaluru FC will start their campaign at home on January 7 with a home game against Shillong Lajong FC, as per the fixtures list for the first nine rounds released by the AIFF on Tuesday.

The only other game of the opening day will feature East Bengal hosting Aizawl FC, which will be played in Barasat. Mohun Bagan will begin their I-League with a home game against newly-reinstated former champions Churchill Brothers at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on January 8.

Mumbai FC will host DSK Shivajians of Pune in Mumbai and the two debutants of the league - Chennai and Minerva Punjab - will face off in Chennai the same day. The first Kolkata derby of the year is slated to take place at the Kanchenjunga Stadium, Siliguri on February 12, with East Bengal the designated hosts for their match against Mohun Bagan.