The Weekend Guide is hungry for a title, so we have three top matches for you:
the Veterans against the debutants in Azerbaijan, the dominant team in Guyana, and a visit to the Pacific and the league of Papua New Guinea.
(All the hours are in CET local time)
Amateur (Like this handshake)
What? Qarabağ – Zira (Azerbaijan Premier League)
When? Saturday, 1500
Where? Karabakh Stadium, Baku
Why? The reigning champions of Azerbaijan, Qarabağ, are running for their third consecutive domestic title, as they watching the league from the 1st place with 48 points. Meanwhile, Zira are making a sensational debut season in the top tier, as they are in 2nd place, 4 points behind Qarabağ.
Key Players: Two players lead the top scorers table with 8 goals each. The first is Richard Almeida, Qarabağ’s Brazilian, who is having a great season so far with additional 4 goals in Europe. The second one is Zira’s Nelson Bonilla from El Salvador, who played previously in Romania.
Money, Money, Money: The Azeri second tier is not so competitive and the winners are being decided by their bank account and not their professional bility. Last season, Zira promoted from the 6th place, while another team, Kapaz, promoted from the 9th place.
Professional (like this guy)
What? Alpha United – Slingerz (Guyana Elite League)
When? Sunday, 2300
Where? Bourda Cricket Ground, Georgetown
Why? In the newly created Elite League of Guyana, it seems that we will have a tough contest for the title. Alpha United were 5-times champions in the old National Super League. Now, they are in the 1st place, as the winners of the opening stage, Slingerz are in 2nd, trailing by a single point.
Alpha United’s 36 years old Anthony Abrams is the star of his team with 4 goals in 3 games. From the other side, look at Vurlon Mills of Slingerz, that spent some of his career abroad in Trinidad and Tobago.
Continental Monopoly: Alpha United are the only team from Guyana to play at the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, doing it twice in 2012 and 2015.
World Class (like that match)
What? Lae FC – Hekari United (Papua New Guinea National Soccer League)
Where? Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium, Lae
Why? After three matches in the championship round, we have two contenders left in the title race. The guests, Hekari United, won eight consecutive domestic titles, until Lae FC won their first title in the last season. Both of the teams won all their games in the championship round, which team will be the first to lose points?
Key Players: The striker of Lae, Raymond Gunemba, is one of the dominant forwards in the league, making him also part of the national squad. In Hekari United you should watch for Koriak Upiaga, which was part of the club Champions League squad in 2010.
Have Some Experience: Frank Farina, the great Australian manager and nowadays Fiji national team manager, got some experience with Pacific teams. He managed Papua New Guinea during 2011 Pacific Games and 2012 OFC Nations Cup, finally left in 2013.