Defending champions W Connection look to make up points when coming up against Pro League leaders Defence Force from 8 p.m. today in a key clash at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya. The match is the second of a double-header. North East Stars clash with T&TEC two hours earlier.
The Army lead the league with 29 points, while W Connection are 10 points adrift in third.
"It is a game that we must try to win to make up ground since we are third and the Defence Force are first," W Connection's St Lucian coach Stuart Charles Fevrier said. "So we will give every effort to cut the lead they have over us."
Losing just twice in 11 matches, defending champions W Connection have fallen behind due to the four matches they have drawn. Fevrier said a series of factors are responsible for W Connection's slow start to the season. They had basically no rest between seasons, going from the 2011-2012 Pro League season into Caribbean Cup qualifying, and then the Caribbean Champions League. W Connection have also had some injuries and sold top-scorer Shahdon Winchester who had scored seven goals before going to Finnish club FF Jaro on a one-year deal. The good news is that utility player Joevin Jones is back in the squad, having recently returned from a trial aboard.
"We have not been playing badly, it just that we have not been scoring goals," Fevrier said. "Defence-wise, we have conceded very few goals this season."
Meanwhile, Defence Force are all about goals, scoring a league high 37, well clear of the 20 W Connection have scored. The Army have not just scored the most goals in the Pro League, but also have the competition's top three goal-scorers in Devorn Jorsling (11 goals), Kevon Carter (eight) and Josimar Belgrave (seven).
"We have a lot of attacking options in the squad this year. Devorn Jorsling has returned to the team and he presents a real threat... also with Richard Roy, Josimar Belgrave and Kevon Carter," assistant-coach Marvin Gordon said. "We have also done a lot of scoring drills this season, and this has added some goals as well."
The Army players have not had much time on the training field in the last two weeks due to additional army duties during the Carnival season. But former national footballer Gordon said they were able to train on Carnival Sunday, and have since put in a couple more tough sessions in preparation for the match.
"We are not putting any pressure on the players. We are not telling them they must win the match," Gordon said. "We are just taking it one match at a time. Our ultimate goal is to win the League. We will take it one match at a time. We approach W Connection with the same seriousness as usual and look to get a favourable result."
PRO LEAGUE FIXTURES
6 p.m. — T&TEC V North East Stars, Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
8 p.m. — W Connection V Defence Force, Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
5 p.m. — Central FC v Caledonia AIA, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Defence Force 12 9 2 1 37 14 23 29
Caledonia AIA 11 5 4 2 33 15 18 23
W Connection 11 5 4 2 20 11 9 19
North East Stars 11 4 5 2 14 10 4 17
Central FC 10 3 3 4 12 18 -6 12
Police 12 2 4 6 12 19 -7 10
St Ann's Rangers 11 2 3 6 13 26 -13 9
T&TEC 12 1 1 10 8 36 -28 4