Mouth-watering prospects as juggernaut Mt Pleasant face Harbour View
Kimoni Bailey (left) of Mount Pleasant controls the ball ahead of Cavalier SC's Christopher Ainsworth during the JPL final at Sabina Park earlier this year. (Photo: Observer file)

Weather permitting, Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (JPL) fans should be treated to a mouth-watering clash between the last two champions — Mount Pleasant and Harbour View — at Drax Hall at 3:00 pm, in one of five games set for today.

In the curtain-raiser at Drax Hall at 1:00 pm, Lime Hall will entertain Cavalier FC, while Portmore United welcome Molynes United to Ferdie Neita Park for a 3:00 pm date.

Newcomer Treasure Beach will take on Dunbeholden at the St Elizabeth Technical High School at 3:00 pm and Arnett Gardens host Montego Bay United at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex at 7:00 pm.

There will be a double-header on Monday at the Stadium East in which Tivoli Gardens will play Humble Lion at 5:00 pm before Waterhouse FC and Vere United clash at 7:30 pm.

Harbour View

But most eyes will be on the marquee matchup between in-form Mount Pleasant sitting atop of the league with nine points and Harbour View who are down in 11th spot on two points from their three games.

The Theodore Whitmore-coached Mount Pleasant juggernaut are rolling over teams, having dispatched Molynes United 3-1 last week and Dunbeholden 3-0 before. Harbour View, therefore, will have to be at their best to keep them off the scoresheet.

Former Harbour View player Oquassa Chong will be once again lead the Mount Pleasant attack sitting on two goals, along with Kimona Bailey. Captain Sue-Lae McCalla, the improving Gawain Austin, Devonte Campbell, and Marlon Allen will make life tough for the Stars of the East.

Davion Ferguson, Mount Pleasant's assistant coach, expects a tough game despite Harbour View's winless start.

Mount Pleasant

"When Harbour View and Mount Pleasant meet, the table really don't decide the game. Last season we played each other twice and there were no winners, both games ended up in a draw," said Ferguson.

"So we don't look at their form currently or our form currently. It's always an evenly contested game between two teams who have enormous quality and who can trouble each other on the day," he noted.

"Even though Harbour View are not winning, they have been scoring goals so offensively they are very potent, so we have to be on the lookout for that," added Ferguson.

The Ludlow Bernard-coached Harbour View will be depending on the likes of freshly minted national player Shaquile Bradford, veteran Andre Fagan, the skilful Ajuma Johnson, Odorland Harding, Romaine Brackenridge, and Shamari Dyer.

Harbour View have scored five goals, but more critically, they have conceded seven, and Bernard is hoping his defenders will tighten things up.

"There is not much time to fix the leakage, so on the day we have to take an approach that is very organised and hopefully we can get it right based on tactical application," he pointed out.

"We are looking forward to the clash, always a good hunting ground for us. We going there with good optimism. Probably we will have to approach the game differently from how we approach others.

"We are very respectful of our opposition, not fearful, and of course, they being the defending champions playing at home, it's going to be a difficult task. But we will go there and give a good account of ourselves," said Bernard.

Meanwhile, Concacaf Caribbean Cup finalists Cavalier will be aiming to move up the table and should be too hot for Lime Hall. Cavalier are currently ninth on four points, while Lime Hall are in 13th spot on a point.

Fourth-placed Portmore United on six points take on 12th-placed Molynes United on two points. Portmore United are favoured to secure their third win, but Molynes remain a dangerous team, especially with Jason Wright and Jermy Nelson in attack.

At the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, home team Arnett Gardens will be looking to rebound from their 1-3 hammering at the hands of Tivoli Gardens last week when they take on Montego Bay United.

Arnett Gardens, sitting in fifth place on five points, are fancied to get the better of a Montego Bay United team, also on five points but in eighth position.

Bottom-placed Dunbeholden are fancied to pick up their first win of the season when they play Treasure Beach at STETHS. Dunbeholden are on one point, with Treasure Beach just above on two points.

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer writer

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