Loyola Meralco Sparks FC and Stallion FC is scheduled to clash at 4 p.m. today in the first round of the 2016 United Football League (UFL) at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Loyola, fresh off a victory against defending champs Ceres La Salle FC last week, aims to build an early momentum while Stallion looks to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss against Global FC.
Meralco is currently on a provisional five-way tie as the top seed of the standings with three points while Stallion is at the bottom four with a loss.
The Sparks started their campaign this season with an impressive 3-2 win against reigning titleholders Ceres during the opening day of the tournament.
Loyola relied on the prowess of the trio of James Younghusband, Alvaro Castiella and Curt Dizon to trounce the club from Bacolod.
With the absence of star striker Phil Younghusband, who is still recovering from an injury, Meralco is expected to rely on Spanish forward Castiella to man the frontlines.
Dizon will also be on deck to support their offense together with J. Younghusband and ex-Global FC standout John Kanayama.
Azkals reserve goalkeeper Tomas Trigo will be manning the sticks for the Sparks while Joaco Canas, Edward Mallari, Anton Del Rosario will fortify their backline.
The Stallions are aiming to notch their first win of the season after bowing to Global FC, 2-4, in a tight match last Sunday.
Team captain Ruben Doctora and national team member Simone Rota scored a goal each for Stallion.
Coach Ernest Nierras will be parading a young line-up with Joshua Beloya and Ashley Flores leading the roster.
Nate Alquiros, Matthew Nierras, Josh Grommen and Christian Nana will provide rear guard for the Stallions while newly acquired Roland Sadia will be the team’s starting goalkeeper.
Green Archers United FC and Pasargad FC will also be battling for three points in the UFL double-header match at 2 p.m.
After a 1-1 draw with sister team Forza FC in their debut match this season, the Green Archers are keen on earning their first three points at the expense of Pasargad.
Former Azkal Chieffy Caligdong will be spearheading the raids for the Archers with the frontline tandem of Jesus Joaquin Melliza and Jimuel Ariola.
Pasargad is aiming to enter the winners’ column after absorbing a 6-0 loss to JP Voltes FC on April 30.