This afternoon’s clash at Olympic Stadium between Naga Corp and Kirivong Sok Sen Chey sees the Metfone C-League enter its 12th round.
Second-placed Naga Corp slipped up against Build Bright United on Saturday, allowing Phnom Penh Crown to extend their lead to four points.
Naga management will demand a resounding victory in this match to keep the pressure on the leaders and to stave off the threat of Preah Khan Reach, who are just one point behind.
Kirivong are a team who seem to be thriving in the second half of the campaign, having inflicted defeats on National Police Commissary and National Defence Ministry.
A win from today’s fixture, which kicks off at 3pm, will lift the Takeo-based club to fourth on the table.
In the sides’ last meeting during the first leg, Naga trounced Kirivong 7-2 in a highly entertaining affair.
Naga winger Meas Channa, who impressed in that match, is set to rejoin his squad after returning from a week-long stint with the U16 national team as assistant coach during their AFF Youth Championships appearance.
Naga striker Teab Vathanak is still a potent threat up front despite a slump in form of late.
Meanwhile, the backline trio of Seang Lundy, Neang Chenla and Soeung Monyroth, as well as Nigerian hitman Julius Oiboh, will play under the caution of suspension after each picking up yellows during their last game.
Kirivong defenders Touch Sokheang and Sos Naseath have their work cut out to stop Oiboh, the league’s top scorer, but have been training hard in preparation.
It’s also a golden chance for midfielder Ek Vannak to showcase his considerable ability against Naga, his former club.
The position of Kirivong captain In Vichheka remains unclear, as the national team defender has seen his usual attacking role for his side converted into a backline slot during the team’s last outing.
Nelson Oladiji, Heng Kimhong and Mam Sophal will most likely comprise the forward options for Kirivong.
TRANSLATED BY IN SOPHENG