Naga Corp’s new signing Nuth Sinoun (above) will come up against his former club, Build Bright United, on Sunday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Rithy Sen v Chhlam Samuth
Saturday, July 16 - 2pm
Key players: Peh Matsaum & Meas Sophanna
The weekend’s set of Metfone C-League clashes kicks off with a dropzone dogfight between the two bottom sides.
But Chhlam Samuth are five points better off than Rithy Sen, having recorded a comfortable 3-1 victory in their previous meeting during the first half of the season.
Both teams have begun the second leg in ominous fashion. The Sea Sharks slumped to a 3-0 loss at the hands of Preah Khan Reach, while Rithy Sen were smashed 5-0 by table-toppers Phnom Penh Crown.
Kampong Chhnang-based Rithy Sen will have their defence strengthened by the return of suspended pair Ly Toman and Dimie Paris.
They are still chasing their first win, and hope midfielder Peh Matsaum and striker Raymond Esin will finally come good after a host of chances were squandered in their last match.
Chhlam Samuth will wish for a repeat star performance by striker Meas Sophanna, who bagged a brace in the first-leg match against Rithy Sen.
Classy co-operation between Nig-erian compatriots Paul Olabode in midfield and Sanny Dauda up front should pose a significant threat to league debutants Rithy Sen.
Prek Pra Keila v Phnom Penh Crown
Saturday, July 16 - 4pm
Key players: Sos Souhana & Soung Virak
Reigning champions Phnom Penh Crown laboured to a 1-0 win over Prek Pra in their last encounter through a solitary strike by Chan Chhaya.
Crown’s wealth of experience, however, bolstered by their new leadership under Englishman David Booth, should see them put Prek Pra under pressure from the off. Crown are without injuries or suspensions to the first team for tomorrow’s match.
Japanese midfielder Takahito Ota has been an attractive new recruit for fans of Crown, displaying some deadly accuracy since his introduction three games ago.
Winger Soung Virak has also provided firepower from out wide.
Prek Pra will not give in easily to Crown, with Philip Ali not only useful as an attacker but tracking back well.
Sos Souhana and Sen Soukey are also poised with intent on raiding their opposition’s territory and can pounce on any mistakes the Crown backline forfeit.
Build Bright Utd v Naga Corp
Sunday July 17 - 2pm
Key players: Um Chandara & Nuth Sinoun
All eyes will be on Naga striker Nuth Sinoun as he comes up against his former employers BBU. The veteran frontman was even on the score sheet for BBU in the first-leg fixture, which ended 2-2.
Nuth Sinoun was in devastating form on his debut last weekend, grabbing a double as Naga pounded Prek Pra 3-1.
They will have an even bigger boost as the league’s top scorer, Julius Oiboh, has been released from suspension.
Build Bright, coming off a 3-0 rout of Ministry of National Defence, welcome the return of their three top-notch defenders, Tuy Sam, Nhim Sovannara and In Vireak.
Oum Chandara has hit a purple patch of late for the University-backed club, and his technical ability and clever distribution complement some sharpness up front by Pich Seyha.
Preah Khan Reach v National Police Commissary
Sunday July 17 - 4pm
Key players: Phany I Rotha & Toch Panhrong
The concluding game of the weekend sees Hun Sen Cup holders Preah Khan Reach face newcomers National Police, who will look to overturn a 3-1 loss from the first leg.
The Police team’s defence had a bad day in that match, allowing PKR to claim all three points, though fullback Touch Pancharong insists they are still determined to climb up the table.
National Police are currently seventh in the standings on 14 points, while PKR sit in third on 18 points.
Police defender Ieng Tin and striker Sophal Udom have served their one-match suspensions for red cards during their fiery clash with Crown at Old Stadium, while Tit Dina and Long Nasy play important roles in offence coach Ung Kanyanith’s team.
Preah Khan Reach, who are now led by Sam Vandeth after the resignation of Rith Dikar, still have a burning ambition to clinch their first league title, but remain five points off the pace.
Despite the prominence of Khuon Laboravy and Tum Saray, substitute Phanny I Rotha has been making waves off the bench. His technique and skill in going forward have caused problems for defenders in recent games. TRANSLATED BY IN SOPHENG