T&T defender Sheldon Bateau is all set to begin his professional life in Russia after joining Premier League club FC Krylia Sovetov earlier this month.
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W Connection looking to rebound faces rival Central FC
Four-time Digicel T&T Pro League champions, DirecTV W Connection will be hoping to get back to winning ways when it faces Central FC in the feature match of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva from 8.30pm tonight.
Two hours earlier, Police, enjoying its best campaign in over a decade, will also be out to get maximum points and sustain its push for second spot when it comes up against cellar-placed St Ann’s Rangers. The Savonetta Boys, as W Connection are known, currently sit atop the nine-team table with 32 points, nine clear of Pt Fortin Civic FC with a match in hand. Caledonia AIA is next with 20 points followed by North East Stars and Police with 18 each, then Central FC, a further two points behind.
However, after starting the season with an impressive record of ten wins and two drawn matches from its first 12 encounters, the Stuart Charles-Fevrier coached W Connection tasted defeat, losing 2-1 away to Pt Fortin on February 1, and it will be interesting to see how the team responds against a now familiar opponent in Central, coached by long-time rival, Englishman Terry Fenwick.
So far this season, the clubs have met three times with W Connection winning their T&T Football Association FA duel, 6-5 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw, and 1-0 in their league first round fixture.
Central FC has also enjoyed some measure of success against W Connection this season, with a 3-2 penalty kicks win after a 0-0 deadlock in their First Citizens Cup semifinal, despite playing most of the match with ten men.
Fenwick and his squad will also be desperate to end a run of four straight draws in the league as it looks to get back in the hunt for a top-two finish.
For tonight’s match, W Connection is expected to be at full strength while Fenwick will have to do without Akeem Benjamin due to yellow-card accumulation. Ataulla Guerra who missed Central FC’s 1-1 draw with Stars, will be available after being suspended for that match.
In the earlier fixture, Police, 2-0 winners over Rangers when the teams met in the first round, will be eager for a similar result as it looks to extend an unbeaten run of three matches since a 5-0 loss to Pt Fortin.
Rangers on the other hand are bottom of the table with only three points and have not scored in their last five matches, a problem coach Gilbert Bateau and his squad will be anxious to solve.
In the day’s other match, North East Stars’, still smarting from a 1-1 draw with Central FC, after the latter got a last gasp equaliser from Marvin Oliver, comes up against San Juan Jabloteh at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya from 6 pm.
Missing out on tonight’s contest for Stars’ will be Jamaican Keithy Simpson who went from hero to villain in Friday’s match with Central FC, first scoring the go-ahead goal before seeing red from referee Neil Brizan after the final whistle for disent while Jabloteh’s Jevon Morris returns after his one-match suspension.
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva:
Police vs St Ann’s Rangers, 6.30pm
Central FC vs W Connection, 8.30pm
North East Stars vs San Juan Jabloteh, Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya, 6pm
Teams P W D L F A Pts
W Connection 13 10 2 1 28 7 32
Pt Fortin 14 7 2 5 21 15 23
Caledonia 13 5 5 3 21 14 20
N/East Stars 12 5 3 4 12 9 18
Police 13 5 3 5 18 20 18
Central FC 12 3 7 2 14 12 16
Defence Force 8 4 1 3 15 14 13
Jabloteh 13 3 1 9 18 30 10
Rangers 12 1 0 11 11 37 3
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