Cavalier hunt victory against leaders Portmore; Arnett ready again
Defending champions Arnett Gardens, which secured their first victory since December 13 on Thursday, look set to continue winning ways when the 2017-2018 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) continues on Sunday with Match Day 23.
Arnett Gardens (41) points), which are in second place in the standings and trailing leaders Portmore United (47) by six points, will travel to STETHS to take on relegation-bound Sandals South Coast at 3:00 pm.
Portmore United will also be in action on the day playing a tough away game against Cavalier at the Stadium East field at 5:00 pm.
However, most interest will be at STETHS as while Arnett will be playing a struggling team, the game could provide answers as to whether the defending champions have finally put behind them internal issues and their bad patch.
During Arnett Gardens' bad patch, they took only five points from a maximum of 18 and suffered the embarrassment of drawing against the two teams in the relegation zone - promoted Sandals South Coast, which are second-from-the-bottom and bottom-place Boys' Town. Both games ended 1-1.
Also during that period, Arnett suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat against Portmore United, which led to report of internal issues within the club.
On Thursday night, Arnett Gardens finally returned to winning ways by defeating the University of West Indies (UWI) FC 2-1. They had to come from behind to secure the victory after Ramoun Reid had given UWI FC the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Fabian Reid (71st minute) and Kemal Malcolm (86th minute) replied for the defending champions.
Sandals South Coast have only won three of their 22 games this season and will enter Sunday's fixture with 16 points.
Sandals South Coast have taken only four points from their last five matches. Those four points came at home following a goalless draw against Montego Bay United on January 7 and a 1-0 victory against Humble Lion on December 29, the last time they won a game.
Now hosting Arnett, Sandals have the right to feel confident after holding the defending champions to a 1-1 draw on December 17, also on home turf. On that occasion Arnett took a 39th minute lead through Damari Deacon but Sandals replied in the 56th minute through Dwayne Blake.
Over at the Stadium East field, Portmore United are expected to receive strong competition from Cavalier, which secured a good away 1-1 result against third-place Tivoli Gardens on Thursday.
Cavalier (35 points) have now developed into a serious team, moving from seventh place in November to fourth and just two points behind third-place Tivoli Gardens (37 points).
They have taken 14 points from a maximum of 18 in their last six matches, easily the most improved team during that period, and based on form should give Potmore United their toughest test to date.
Montego Bay United vs Harbour View at Wespow Park at 3:00 pm
Humble Lion vs Boys' Town at Effortville Community Centre at 3:00 pm
Sandals South Coast vs Arnett Gardens at STETHS at 3:00 pm
Tivoli Gardens vs Reno at Edward Seaga Complex at 3:00 pm
Cavalier vs Portmore United at Stadium East at 5:00 pm
Waterhouse vs UWI FC at Drewsland Stadium at 8:35 pm