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Table toppers clash in league

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Naga Corp’s Julius Oiboh (right) and Preah Khan Reach’s Sok Rithy will resume their battle tomorrow at Olympic Stadium.

The top four teams of the Metfone C-League table face off in the two fixtures tomorrow at Olympic Stadium, while Chhlam Samuth will try to stave off the threat of relegation on Sunday against the Police side and the Army team face the relatively easy proposit-ion of bottom club Rithy Sen.

Preah Khan Reach v Naga Corp
Saturday, July 30 - 2pm
Key players: Khoun Laboravy and Julius Oiboh

Striker Khoun Laboravy will play an important role in avenging Preah Khan Reach’s 2-1 loss against Naga during the first leg. Striker Phanny I Ratha is beginning to reward coach Rith Dikar’s faith in him for their front line alongside Khoun Laboravy and Tum Saray.

Sok Rithy is gaining strength in defence, while Chea Samnang is their best choice as central midfielder.

Prak Sovannara’s Naga Corp, meanwhile, will not lie down easily. Frontman Julius Oiboh, who at 15 goals is three clear at the top of the scoring charts, will hope to inspire his team once again as they chase down league leaders Phnom Penh Crown.

Build Bright United v Phnom Penh Crown
Saturday, July 30 - 4pm
Key players: Nhim Sovannara and Sun Sopanha

BBU coach Meas Sam Oeun has decided to push defender Nhim Sovannara into the midfield safe in the knowledge that Ung Mardy, Rim Bunheang, In Virak, and Hang Chantrea form a formidable backline.

“In the last few games, Sovannara has played and attacked well, so we have nothing to worry about in facing Phnom Penh Crown, even though our talented midfielder Oum Chandara is forced out for a while with injury,” Meas Sam Oeun said.

Crown carry a four-point lead over the rest of the pack and are seemingly cruising to a title defence.

Veteran defender Thul Sothearith and Tieng Tiny would have learned some valuable lessons after getting away with conceding three against lowly Chhlam Samuth in their recent 5-3 victory.

Crown’s Sun Sopanha poses a significant threat to opponents through his accurate set pieces, and Soung Virak and Takahito Ota should create many chances to score even if frontmen Kouch Sokumpheak, Chan Chhaya and Kingsley Njoku fail to unlock the Build Bright defence.

In the first leg, Crown steamrolled BBU 3-0.

National Police Commissary v Chhlam Samuth
Sunday, July 31 - 2pm
Key players: Sim Vutha and San Thydeth

Forward Sim Vutha is a rising star for the Police team, while Sophal Udom and Long Nasy seem to be going through a dip in form. Ieng Tin, Soy Piseth and Toch Pancharong feature prominently in defence and need to bring their A-game to the fixture on Sunday.

Chhlam Samuth watched a 3-2 lead turn into a 5-3 defeat against the champions last weekend,  and their back line, comprising San Thydeth, Kao Viso and Ek Sovannara, will be under the microscope.

The Sea Sharks’ foreign contingent of Ayodele Silva, Sanny Dauda and Paul Olabode provide the firepower for them to blast away for the drop zone, and will be needed to overcome the side that beat them 3-1 in the first half of the season.

Rithy Sen v National Defence Ministry
Sunday, July 31 - 4pm
Key players: El Mostava and Phlong Chanthou

Phlong Chanthou scored a hat-trick in the Army’s barnstorming 6-0 victory over Rithy Sen in the first leg, and the striker should be given the opportunity to grace the score sheet once again on Sunday, providing good service from talented midfielders Chhin Chhoeun and Oum Kumpheak and new recruit Meak Chhordaravuth.

Rithy Sen will place little hope in their offence, and  defenders El Mostava, Tam Yosos and Ly Ronty are almost guaranteed a busy day at the office.

Keo Dara and Raymond Esin shouldn’t be ignored, however, as they often show a willingness to break into the box and score for the Kampong Chhnang-based side. 

TRANSLATED BY IN SOPHENG

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