After many months the Vodafone Premier League is finally going to have a complete matchweek with all four matches being contested in the same weekend. There will be some key clashes this weekend as current league leaders Rewa will visit their rivals Suva at ANZ Stadium and current league champions Ba will need to fight for the win against Nasinu. Scroll down and check all you need to know about this weekend’s matches!
Labasa will receive Nadi at Subrail Park. Both teams are going to play an official match for the first time in four months. The Babasiga Lions received great news during the week as it was confirmed that Siotame Kubu is going to remain with the team for the remaining of the season. Labasa’s head coach Ronil Lal confirmed that Kubu is going to be in the starting eleven against Nadi and expressed his thoughts about the upcoming clash – “We have just trained for four weeks […] It will be a very physical game,” he said.
On the other hand Nadi must count on their key players Avinesh Waran Suwamy and Rusiate Matarerega to fight for the win. The Jetsetters also added some power to their team by signing with former Lautoka’s player Navneel Nand that is very excited to debut for his new club.
The second match of this weekend will be contested between current league champions Ba and Nasinu. The Men in Black lost many players during the last transfer window but it was not a problem for them as they have beaten Navua and Lautoka in the past seven days to keep their unbeaten run in the league – “We have to win more games. We will chase for the title,” said Ba’s forward Samuela Drudru after the match against Lautoka. However Ba’s goalkeeper Misiwani Nairube got injured against Lautoka and it is not known if he is going to be available to face Nasinu so it would not be a surprise if 17-year-old Isikeli Sevanaia were the starting goalkeeper this weeend.
Nasinu also has some problems for this match as Atkin Kaua and Jared Rongosulia are currently stuck in Solomon Islands due to borders restrictions. The Giant Killers are not in a good position in the league table and head coach Tani Vonolagi knows the importance of this match – “We hope to give Ba a good game,” he told to Fiji Football Association’s media. The players also know the importance of this match – “We need to work hard in every part of the field to close the up,” said Nasinu’s forward Marlon Nonone in an exclusive interview with Oceania Football Center.
The third and fourth matches of the weekend are scheduled to take place on Sunday. Current league leaders Rewa are going to face their rivals Suva that brough many talented players in the past transfer window. The Capital City Boys will have the support of the crowd at ANZ Stadium in this tough challenge against the Delta Tigers – “The players are really focused. I watched the training sessions and I saw their eagerness and motivation,” said Suva’s president Ritesh Pratap.
The Capital City Boys are not going to count on Solomon Islands international Michael Boso who is not in the country which means that goalkeeper Beniaminio Mateinaqara and defender Laisenia Raura who recently joined the team must use their experience to lead Suva’s defense. Currently in the third position with eight points, the players know the importance of this match – “We need to win if we want to fight for the title,” said Simione Nabenu.
Rewa will not count on Bruce Hughes and Samuela Nabenia as both players are suspended. On the other hand goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau and left-back Kavaia Rawaqa are back from injury and they must be on the starting eleven on Sunday. It is a very important game for Rewa because they will keep themselves in the first position if they win – “We really need to beat Suva,” said Rewa’s head coach Marika Rodu.
The Delta Tigers are eager to win the league for the first time ever and it was announced by team’s president Nazeel Buksh that they have received the International Transfer Certificate (ITC) of Solomon Islands international Allen Peter and the defender must travel to Fiji to join the team when borders reopen.
Another player that is facing problems to return to Fiji is Lautoka’s forward Alex Saniel who is currently stuck in Vanuatu. The Bluez will face Navua at Uprising Resort Ground on Sunday and they have to win to get closer to the leaders. It is expected that defender Arami Manumanubai is going be in the starting eleven as Sekove Finau was red carded against Ba on Wednesday.
Navua is currently in the eighth and last position in the table and they need to work hard to grab some points in order to fight against relegation. Experienced forward Apisai Smith brought some hopes to the fans after scoring twice against Ba last weekend but they need more if they really want to remain in the top-tier of Fijian football.
You can check the current league standings by clicking here. Oceania Football Center wishes good luck to all teams.