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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - It’s crunch time for MCL teams

It’s crunch time for MCL teams

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Preah Khan Reach’s Sok Rithy (right) and Phnom Penh Crown’s Kingsley Njoku in their first meeting at the inaugural day of the season.

This weekend the 2011 Metfone Cambodian League kick-off will see all eight teams play against each in gameweek 17, which should show more clearly which team will take the title and which team will be relegated, while the whole of the season will close next weekend.

Naga Corp vs National Defence
Saturday August 27, 2pm
Key players: Julius Oiboh & Phlong Chanthou

Naga Corp is still trying to find some luck in their pursuit of the title from Phnom Penh Crown, who are leading by 4 points at the top of table. Their defeat will help Crown to win the champions automatically.

National Defence’s defenders likes Pheak Rady, Lot Sophorn and Kun Koun will get the busiest jobs blocking the attack from Naga Corp striker Julius Oiboh, who is the leading top scorer with 25 goals.
Meanwhile, Chhim Sambo, Chin Chum and Teab Vathanak are the best choices for head coach Prak Sovannara in the attacking area. While Teat Chandarasokha has been suspended till the end of the season, Om Thavrak, Neang Chenla and Sun Sovanratha will be busy in defence.

The National Defence side would still have chance to fight for third place from Preah Khan Reach if they grab a victory from this game. Out of Chhin Chhoeun, Phoung Soksana and Um Kumpheak, the player who cannot be overlooked is form forward Phlong Chanthou. The speed and ability of the striker could give Naga Corp a big upset. In the first leg, Naga Corp won 3-1 over their opponents.

Kirivong vs Rithy Sen
Saturday August 27, 4pm
Key players: Nelson Oladiji & San Hosen

The meeting of both teams will just be an exibition match while Kirivong Sok Sen Chey will try to finish higher than sixth place and Rithy Sen, who have been already relegated, must struggle more to find their first victory and to beak the record of Chhma Khmao, who were relegated last season after gathering only four points after grabbing a win and a draw.

Playing against Rithy Sen, striker Nelson Oladiji will not find it so difficult to score goals if he can play well and co-operate well with captain In Vicheka and winger Ek Vanak. However, Rithy Sen will not go down easily. After the team has been relegated, we will not see any foreign players in this game, so all the main duties will fall to all of the local playeres, particularly striker Ouk Channarith, midfielder San Hosen and Ly Torman. Ly Rony and El Mostava will secure the defence.

Preah Khan Reach vs Phnom Penh Crown
Sunday August 28, 2pm
Key players: Khoun Laboravy & Kouch Sokumpheak

Phnom Penh’s English head coach David Booth would have so many scenarios to set up his team according to the results from Naga Corp match against National Defence. The main first line-up players like striker Kouch Sokumpheak, Chan Chhaya and Kingsley Njoku must attend this game if Naga Corp win over National Defence because of a win over Preah Khan Reach will lead them to retain their title. The techniques will be changed if Naga Corp loses to National Defence because that result is enough for them to take the title. However, Booth will have another main mission – to lead the team for an eighth straight victory.

Defenders Thul Sothearith and Sun Sovanrith will be missed by their suspensions, so all the big work would fall to Teang Tini, Chan Dara and Odion Obadin. Khoun Laboravy, who is the team’s top scorer with 13 goals, would be an important force to lead Preah Khan Reach to strengthen their third place. Young players Prak Mony Udom, Chea Samnang, Phanny I Rotha and Soun Veasna will be exhausted after their National U-19 team duties, but Preah Khan Reach still have other choices to block Phnom Penh Crown, which include striker Tum Saray, midfielder Sok Chanraksmey, defender Lay Raksmey and Sok Rithy.

In the first leg, both teams finished with a 1-1 draw.

National Police vs Prek Pra
Sunday August 28, 4pm
Key players: Touch Pancharong & Sos Souhana

There is not any better chance than this meeting for Prek Pre to get all three points. They need to win the meeting against the Police side to lead by one point over Chhlam Samuth above the relegation zone. Midfielder Sos Souhana has to enforce his belief again to achieve a result.

Ron Roya and You Safy are also important forces in the forwards, while Ali Philip should make the first line-up because his attendance would give a positive push for Prek Pra both in the forwards and defence. While trying not to concede goals, defender Vy Lika and Maliki Rorhan and goalkeeper have to be at the best in their respective roles.

The attacking strategies of Prek Pra could be blocked by strong defender Touch Pancharong of National Police because he always gives some of the better teams trouble and they find it difficult to attack with the forwards.

TRANSLATED BY IN SOPHENG

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