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Crown aim to maintain lead

Crown aim to maintain lead

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Crown’s Hong Ratana (centre, red shirt) vies with Police’s Ieng Tin during their previous league match at the Old Stadium on June 25.

Phnom Penh Crown v National Police Commissary
Saturday, August 6 – 2pm
Key players: Sun Sopanha and Long Nasy

Both teams come into tomorrow’s clash at Olympic Stadium on the back of 4-1 victories over opponents last weekend in which Crown’s San Narith and Police’s Long Nasy bagged hat-tricks.

Metfone C-League leaders Crown will  be focused on maintaining daylight between themselves and second- placed Naga Corp.

Midfielder Sun Sopanha has confirmed manager David Booth’s faith in him, including receiving the captain’s armband as of last week, with some spirited performances that have been complemen-ted by San Narith’s promotion up the park from his former backline position.

Crown also enjoy the matur-ity of Chan Chandara and Tieng Tiny to shore up their defence.

Long Nasy has galvanised the Police attack after scoring his first hat-trick for his club.

In their first-leg encounter  at Old Stadium, Police lost 2-0 to Crown, with defender Ieng Tin and skipper Sophal Udom picking up red cards.

This time around, the league newcomers will hope to concentrate on the game rather than resorting to individual remonstrations. Forwards Sim Vutha and Moeung Phanith have the potential to cause problems in Crown territory.  

Prek Pra Keila v Preah Khan Reach
Saturday, August 6 – 4pm
Key players: Mat Hasan       and Chea Samnang

Preah Khan Reach edged a thrilling 5-4 goalfest during their previous meeting with Prek Pra, so tomorrow’s late kick-off could well produce some more fireworks. After  Chhlam Samuth’s midweek capitulation, Prek Pra are presented with the chance to jump clear of relegation with a win.

Goalkeeper Yok Ary will return to the squad after serving a suspension, while Sen Soukey and Jamiv Adebayo are consistent threats from midfield.

Military police-backed PKR are set to stock their bench with some of their youngsters who have returned from playing friendly matches for the U19 national team in Vietnam earlier in the week.

PKR’s central midfielder Chea Samnang has emerged as a prodigious talent, espec-ially in distribution to strikers, while defenders Sok Rithy, Lay Rasmey and Suon Thoun will need to show they’ve learnt lessons from the 2-0 defeat to Naga Corp last week.

Build Bright United v Kirivong Sok Sen Chey
Sunday, August 7 – 2pm
Key players: Chea Sophany and Nelson Oladiji

BBU need to quickly restore face after their 4-1 drubbing by Crown. Coach Meas Sam Oeun has instilled confidence in Chea Sophany by selecting him to start in the past two games, and the young attacking midfielder should press-urise their Takeo opponents will his ever-improving speed.

Like Kirivong captain In Vichheka, BBU’s Nhim Sovannara has the versatility to play in defence or attack depending on the circumstances, and  striker Heng Sokly in still in the hunt to grab his first goal of the season for BBU.

Kirivong usually have great expectations of their leading scorer Nelson Oladiji.

The Nigerian has netted 11 goals so far for his team, and is challenging Naga’s Julius Oiboh (17) and PKR’s Khuon Laboravy (12) for the Golden Boot award.

Goalkeeper Kem Makara has recovered sufficiently from injury to become a worthy adversary of the BBU attack.

Rithy Sen v Naga Corp
Sunday, August 7 – 4pm
Key players: Thiv Sophearom and Teab Vathanak

Despite a mathematical chance of survival, debutants Rithy Sen know they have only pride left to redeem from their remaining matches.

The winless Kampong Chhnang outfit will need a miracle to take anything from the weekend’s last game after suffering an 11-1 thumping from 10-man Naga in the first leg.

Midfielder Thiv Sophearom and striker Raymond Esin will try their best to carve out chances, but Rithy Sen’s defence are likely to be the hardest at work, with captain El Mostava, Tam Yusos, Ly Rony and goalkeeper Oum Veasna in the firing line.

Naga’s Nigerian hitman Jul-ius Oiboh won’t get a better opportunity to extend his lead in the goal-scoring charts.

In the first leg, both Oiboh and team-mate Teab Vathanak scored hat-tricks.

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