File Photo: Waterhouse Captain Damarley Samuels
The Red Stripe Premier League is living up to the expectations of providing entertaining football for 33 rounds and with five rounds of matches to go things are looking gloomy for some teams and managers while things are looking bright and and promising for others.
With Arnett Gardens romping six points clear of Waterhouse FC at the top of the pile, all eyes will be on other ongoing battles in the league as the action gets back underway on Sunday.
Avoiding relegation will be on the agenda of a lot of teams, while other eyes are fixed on the RSPL trophy.
The two newly promoted teams, Barbican FC and Reno FC, currently occupy the bottom two spots with Sporting Central not far off.Sporting Central will be desperate to pick up positive results to move out or further away from the relegation zone.
The race for the top four spots in the league is at boiling point, with Waterhouse, Montego Bay United, Humble Lion, Tivoli Gardens, Cavaliers SC, Harbour View and Rivoli all vying for a semi-final berths. Two of the aforementioned meet in what looks like one of the most intriguing games of the weekend.
Here is a closer look at some of the battles and all the details needed on where to catch the action this weekend.
GAME TIME 3:30pm
Venue: Wespow Park
Montego Bay United vs Waterhouse FC
Mobay United and Waterhouse meet at Wespow Park in a game that will have a massive impact on who first will cement one of three remaining semi-final spots alongside Arnett Gardens. Firehouse will be looking for a response after a disappointing loss to bottom of the table, Barbican last Sunday, while Mobay can really thrust themselves into contention for first place should they pick up a win here.
The Western based team will certainly fancy their chances, not only because of the inconsistent form of their opponents, but due to the return of some key players who were out on trials overseas. In third position on 48 points they are not yet home and dry and are expecting all three points especially playing at home.
Anthony Patrick, coach of Waterhouse, is back in the hot seat as spectators demand victory with an aim to inch closer to league leaders Arnett Gardens and to secure a semi-final spot. With the Jackie Bell Knockout trophy in the bag and sitting second on 50 points, Patrick has lost only 11 of his 60 matches played since taking over and still eyes the coveted Red Stripe Premier League title.
His rock solid central midfielder Evan Taylor and talisman Jermaine Anderson, who is second on the goal scorers chart with 16 goals, were left out of last weekend's outing and are expecting to lead the charge on Sunday.
Only a few teams have won back to back titles. Can Mobay put themselves in line for a chance to be among the elite? Despite what you may think this will be a cracker.
GAME TIME 8:30pm
Venue: Effortville Community Centre
Humble Lion FC vs Sporting Central FC
Derby games around the world has always sparked some level of fireworks and this Monday Night game promises no different.
The two teams are going into this fixture with identical records from their last five games, of 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 lost. However, Humble Lion have been the pick of the two in the head to heads. Humble Lion have won 4 and drawn 3 in their last 7 games played against Sporting and are lingering in 4th place on 45 points. Sporting drew their last RSPL game and are currently four points from safety on 31 and will be well aware that they need to start picking up wins. These three points will probably prove very hard to get with their opponent themselves hoping to book a spot in the last four and will relish the chance of scalping their Clarendon counterpart another time.
It won't be a cake walk for either team. Though it's a derby match one should expect a sterling performance from Humble Lion's latest induction Francois Swaby, who switched allegiance in the January transfer market from their bitter rivals Sporting. This fixture has always left a lasting taste in some spectators mouth and one should not expect anything less this time around.
GAME TIME 3:30pm
Venue: Barbican Stadium
Barbican FC vs Cavaliers SC
Barbican face a another difficult contest as they welcome Cavaliers SC to the Barbican Stadium. Both teams are coming off victories from their last round of games and are confident heading into this fixture. Cavalier have a mathematical chance of making it to the final four and will pull out all the necessary stops to make this a reality. Currently seated in 7th place on 37 points eight points behind 4th place Humble Lion, it will take something special from the guys to get a foothold in the last four. They however, can finish on maximum 52 points considering they win all their remaining games. Coach Rodulph Speid knows it is not as easy as it may seem because their final four games are against opponents in the top six. However, he is optimistic and is very much aware that football is not played with pen and paper but on the field.
While Marvin Tate's en have drawn plaudits for some of their performances so far this season, it is absolutely imperative they begin accruing the points to complement these displays. You suspect they’ll be hopeful of springing a surprise against an inconsistent Cavaliers outfit. This fixture has so far failed to produce a goal in the RSPL but the way these two teams are pumped up, spectators won't be disappointed on Sunday.
Other games on :
GAME TIME 3:30pm
Venue: Frome Complex
Reno FC vs Harbour View FC
GAME TIME 3:30pm
Venue: Collie Smith Drive
Boys Town FC vs Arnette Gardens FC
GAME TIME 4:00pm Prison Oval
Venue: Rivoli United FC vs Tivoli Gardens FC