SCA tackle high-flying Savannah
ALTHOUGH it's just six rounds of matches completed, the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) is shaping up to be one of the most competitive, not just in who might win or be relegated, but in the balance of all the teams involved where anyone can beat anyone on a given day.
Based on that, only three points separate the top six teams in what has been an interesting league so far, with the promoted teams holding their own.
With leaders Arnett Gardens (13) and ninth-placed Waterhouse FC (5) set to thrill fans in the Monday Night football fiesta, the focus will be on three main games.
Sporting Central Academy (SCA) will try to dispose of Savannah FC and gained sole leadership, while perennial heavyweights Portmore United host Harbour View and Tivoli Gardens travel to Boys' Town in two mouth-watering games.
Clarendon-based SCA, on 13 points, could make the lead theirs if they are able to beat sixth-placed Savannah, on 10 points. The Nigel Stewart-coached side have won two of their three home matches and will be looking to keep their unbeaten home record intact in the hunt for three valuable points.
With their eyes set on the first end-of-round final, they and indeed Savannah will be looking for a win.
Keith Kelly is expected to pull the strings for SCA, and along with Levaughn Williams, Kadian Wynter, Jamoly Powell, Francois Swaby, Gregory Lewis, Christopher Banner, the sturdy Linval Lewis, Dale Watson — the brother of Reggae Boy JeVaughn Watson, should be the main players in the quest for glory.
Westmoreland-based Savannah FC has done much better than the pundits expected and in Linval Wilson Jnr, veteran Fabian 'Lexus' Blake, his nephew Davion Thorpe, Fabian Samuels, Triston and Marlon Sommerville and Omar Stewart, have held their own and could add SCA to their list of upsets this season.
Meanwhile, third-placed Boys' Town, on 12 points, play fifth-placed Tivoli Gardens, only two behind, in what should be an exciting match at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex at 6:00 pm.
Since losing in a five game thriller to Arnett Gardens, Boys' Town have rattled up wins over Montego Bay United and Harbour View and their confidence is high.
With nine goals this season from six games, the Andrew Price-coached Red Brigade have scored the most goals in nine times, but worryingly, they have conceded seven.
Tivoli have a similar record of netting eight times while giving up six goals from five matches, setting the stage for what should be an open and free-flowing game.
Another mouth-watering match should be between champions Portmore, seventh on seven points from five games, and former winners Harbour View, fourth with 10 from six.
Creative midfielder Jermaine Hue, with four goals from six matches for Harbour View, has seen the reward of his outstanding playing with a recall to the national team for the World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala.
This can either work two ways for the 34-year-old in that he might be cautious not to pick an injury and produce a below-par performance, or he can celebrate his recall with an outstanding display.
But Portmore won't be sitting and admiring Hue's creativity, but with their young and talented crop of players, will be pressing Harbour View all the way.
The match between eight-placed Cavalier, with six points, and 11th placed Montego Bay United, on three, pit two teams eager to rebound from back-to-back losses and hunting valuable points.
Montego Bay have seen Brazilian head coach Nedier Dos Santos resign recently after a poor start in which they lost five of six games and are second from bottom with one win.
The promoted Cavalier, on the other hand, have started better, winning two of their first four games, but have lost consecutive games since with some inconsistent performances.
They played arguably their best match two weeks ago in beating Waterhouse in a display that still has fans talking about how well they passed the ball.
Both teams are eager for points and who wants it more will certainly get it at the Stadium East field.
Meanwhile, a hungry Humble Lion, who have not played for nearly two weeks because of the inclement weather, are eager for playing time and points in their push from the relegation zone.
The Lenworth Hyde-coach Lion are 10th on three points from four games while their opponents, Highgate United, are at the bottom on two points from six games and are still hunting their first win of the season.