You only need to read one ISL 2022-23 preview.

The Indian Super League has begun a new season. Almost. On October 7th, the league returns to the field and to our television screens. Here's everything you need to know:

What's different this time?

What about the big one? There is no bubble! We're returning to the traditional home-and-away format, which will be welcomed by all. There will be no more talk of bio-bubble fatigue, breaches, or last-minute panic.

Really? So, no more phony crowd noises?

Nope. Unless, of course, someone is playing so poorly that no one shows up to a stadium.

Much more importantly, eh, fans?

Fans in the stands!

The importance of fans in a game was highlighted in the final last year, when they were finally allowed in after two long years.

Another significant change, which should greatly benefit stadium-goers, is that games will be played only from Thursday to Sunday for the majority of the season. This also simplifies things for TV viewers, as watching a game every day can quickly become tedious.

Is there going to be promotion and relegation this season?

Nope. However, promotion (from the I-League) is expected to begin at the end of this season; whether or not that previously announced roadmap will be followed is another matter entirely.

But there's one more significant change, isn't there?

Oh, yes. I nearly forgot. Instead of the usual top four, the playoffs will now be played between the top six.

Can half of the league make the playoffs?

Please do not inquire.

More here: ISL 2022-23: Complete squad and player list for all 11 teams

That's fine. Now, how are the teams faring?

Where would you like to begin?

What else? Kolkata!

The maidan, ah, the maidan. Dramatic center.

East Bengal fans have been wondering for months whether they will be able to compete in the ISL following the exit of investor Shree Cements. Emami finally stepped in, and the club formed a squad after everyone else had finished their summer business, as has become customary. Oh, and then they repurchased Stephen Constantine. Which can only mean one thing: it's 2022, and Sumeet Passi is back.

No coach in the league, however, knows Indian football like Constantine, and whether you like him or not, he knows how to get results. Cleiton Silva, Ivan Gonzalez, and Alex Lima are all proven players, while Aniket Jadhav and VP Suhair provide an exciting domestic strikeforce.

ATK Mohun Bagan are struggling across the maidan. The battle for the club's soul continues - whether to (keep) ATK or not to (keep) the prefix remains the most pressing question for the club's top management; and with fans in the stands for the first time in the league since this acquisition/merger/investment deal (depending on who you ask), this question will be asked loudly and repeatedly.

Things aren't looking good on the field either. Their Durand Cup and AFC Cup campaigns were abysmal, and new captain Florentin Pogba appears to need a lot more time to settle in. With Roy Krishna and David Williams out, coach Juan Ferrando understands the pressure is on him.

What about the two winners?

Hyderabad FC, the ISL champions, did well in keeping the majority of their title-winning squad together, but that is the only positive they can take from this summer. Ashish Rai and Junanan will be missed, as will Aniket Jadhav, but the real concern is that no major incomings have occurred. Hyderabad has failed to'strengthen while at the top,' as the popular saying goes. A lot depends on coach Manolo Marquez continuing to work his magic and Bart Ogbeche doing what he always does.

More here: How Manolo Marquez Made Hyderabad FC Champions

Jamshedpur FC, the league shield winners, have it even worse. At least on the surface. Over the summer, they had to let go of both inspirational coach Owen Coyle and absolute best player Greg Stewart, which is a blow that many teams fail to recover from. Aidy Boothroyd, Coyle's replacement, and his new foreign signings Harry Sawyer and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas have their work cut out for them.