H View, Cavalier hungry for victory
The battle of the east between Harbour View and Cavalier FCs will headline today's fixture of matches, which reads like a day of derbies in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).
While all games are important, this is one that neither team can afford to lose. Harbour View, the better-placed team - in fourth position on 26 points - are six points off leaders Montego Bay United and Arnett Gardens, and are coming off a loss to relegation battlers Boys' Town.
Cavalier, on the other hand, are currently in sixth position on 22 points and are steadily slipping down the table. They have not won a match for the second round, and another loss would be disastrous. This is something that coach Rudolph Speid is well aware of.
"It is hard away fixture and we need something positive. Since the start of the second round, we have not won anything, but we need something positive," Speid said.
With a number of their key players missing, a problem Cavalier have encountered since the start of the round, they know their task will be that more difficult.
"We know Harbour View will be tough and to add to that we will be missing five of our starters, including Chevonne Marsh and Oshane Jenkins, two of our top players.
"We are optimistic about our chances despite the absence of the key players. We have replacements even though our squad is not the deepest, but we believe in their fighting spirit," added Speid, who has already brought in reinforcements through the transfer window.
As far as Harbour View and coach Andrew Hines are concerned, their current predicament is due to their own doing.
"We have squandered opportunities to be among the frontrunners and have not made the most of them, but with the festive season behind us we can go back to where we were," a confident Hines said.
Since their defeat to Boys' Town in their last game, Hines said the players have responded positively.
"I was disappointed, the players were disappointed, but it is one of those situations. We did not use it in a negative way. It was just a bad day and we are putting it behind us.
"The players have responded favourably and have turned out to training and we are hoping that the game is a reflection of the training," he added.
Unlike Cavalier, Harbour View are expected to field their strongest unit but for the injured McKaully Tulloch. They should have Jermie Lynch, Ranique Muir, the returned Joel Senior and John-Ross Edwards to call on.
In Clarendon, Humble Lion and Sporting Central Academy will battle it out for bragging rights, while leaders Montego Bay United should get the better of Barbican and maintain their lead.
Rivoli United should be fancied to get the better of the struggling Reno, while Tivoli Gardens will be looking to extend Waterhouse's misery when they host the favourites at Edward Seaga Sports Complex.
n 6:30 p.m. Harbour View vs Cavalier at Harbour View Stadium.
n 5 p.m. Humble Lion vs Sporting Central at Effortville Community Centre.
n 3 p.m. Montego Bay United vs Barbican at Wespow Park.
n 4 p.m. Rivoli United vs Reno at Spanish Town Prison Oval.
n 3 p.m. Tivoli Gardens vs Waterhouse at Edward Seaga Sports Complex.
n 8:30 p.m. Arnett Gardens vs Boys' Town at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.
Teams P W D L GF GA GD Pts
MoBay Utd 16 10 2 4 27 12 15 32
Arnett Gardens 16 10 2 4 31 21 10 32
Waterhouse 16 8 4 4 21 13 8 28
Harbour View 16 7 5 4 24 17 7 26
Rivoli United 16 7 4 5 28 25 3 25
Cavalier 16 6 4 6 11 10 1 22
Tivoli Gardens 16 6 3 7 19 25 -6 21
Sporting 16 6 2 8 20 22 -2 20
Humble Lion 16 4 4 8 12 18 -6 16
Boys' Town 16 4 4 8 17 27 -10 16
Reno 16 4 3 9 24 30 -6 15
Barbican 16 3 5 8 11 25 -14 14