DEEP BAY, Antigua —Former Bolton Wanderers star Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner could get his first start when Jamaica tackle Cuba in a death-defying match in the CFU Caribbean Championship at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on Wednesday night.
Gardner, 34, who recently returned to the Reggae Boyz set-up after as three-year absence, looks likely to replace suspended Demar Phillips, who picked up two yellow cards in a rugged contest against Martinique on Monday.
The wily left-back has given solid renditions in his two appearances here as a substitute.
“Ricardo Gardner could start for Demar Phillips,” confirmed assistant coach, Alfredo Montesso.
Other members of the starting line-up should be Dwayne Miller, Shavar Thomas, Montrose Phinn, Lovel Palmer, Alvas Powell, Jason Morrison, Jermaine Hue, Darren Mattocks, Tramaine Stewart and Jermaine Anderson.
Jamaica are in a do-or-die clash against the Cubans as they make desperate bid to defend their regional title.
Martinique and French Guiana will clash in the curtain-raiser at 5:00 pm (4:00 pm Jamaica time).
Martinique are the clear leaders of Group B on four points following their 1-0 defeat of Cuba in their opening game on Saturday and a tough 0-0 draw against 10-man Jamaica on Monday.
Cuba and French Guiana are ahead of Jamaica on three points apiece after each registering a win and a loss. It was French Guiana’s 2-1 win over the Boyz that have put the latter in the awkward position that they have found themselves.
Cuba, meantime, came from behind to clip French Guiana 2-1 in Monday’s opener of a double-header to throw the “group of death” wide open.
— Sean Williams