Travel-weary Svay Rieng squad will have a few more days break from domestic commitments to recover from their disappointing trip to Mongolia, where they lost both their matches in the AFC President’s Cup group phase last week.
The defending Metfone C-League champions will not figure in this weekend’s action, which will be dominated by Saturday’s twilight clash between National Police Commissary and Ministry of National Defence at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Rugged style of play and robust tactics are common to these two sides and if both stay true to that brand of football, the result could well be too close to call.
The Hun Sen Cup winning momentum sagged a bit for the Police team when they switched back to the league, but they are grinding their way back to seek a prominent position in the standings, where they currently lie sixth.
The Armymen, ninth out of 12 top- tier teams, are also jostling for a better spot in the league order this season. Incidentally, their spectacular success in the 2010 Hun Sen Cup has been overshadowed by poor results in the next three seasons as they endured changes on many fronts in the intervening years.
MND will be without their hardworking midfielder Chhin Chhoeun, who joins Phnom Penh Crown defender Hong Pheng as Cambodian representatives in the 22-strong ASEAN All Stars squad facing the Indonesian national team at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno in an exhibition match at 8pm on Sunday.
Organised by the ASEAN Football Federation, the match is to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines six months ago.
Visitors from Takeo, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey, will be up against TriAsia in Saturday’s first fixture at the Olympic Stadium. While 10th-place Kirivong will be desperate to climb out of the deep end, TriAsia will be hoping for a positive swing after going limp against Asia Europe University.
Away at the Old Stadium on Saturday, Build Bright United kick off at 1:30pm against the bottom of the table Albirex Niigata. BBU hit the buffers against a decidedly better organised Boeung Ket Rubber Field last week. But BBU may find Albirex a lot easier to deal with.
Phnom Penh Crown take on Western University in the second fixture at the Old Stadium. Crown have given very little away in their matches so far, displaying the kind of attacking fluidity few of their main rivals have managed to muster
Given the team’s rather indifferent form, it is hard to speculate Western University troubling the four-time league winners in any form or shape.
Sunday’s only contest at the Olympic Stadium pits current table toppers Naga Corp against Asia Europe University.
On paper, Naga clearly has stronger claims than their rivals, but what makes AEU a sticky customer is the team’s fighting qualities.