FC Meralco Manila guns for a fifth straight win even as JPV Marikina FC tries to rediscover its winning form when the two collide in the lone midweek fixture of the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The two clubs from the capital region tangle in their third encounter in the inaugural season at 4 p.m.
Riding high in its past four fixtures, Meralco Manila seeks to notch a record-tying five-game winning streak—a feat only achieved by its regional rivals JPV Marikina and Kaya FC-Makati so far.
The Sparks zoomed to their fourth consecutive victory as it slipped past a gritty Ilocos United FC, 1-0, three days ago at the same venue.
Meralco also aims to stretch its lead on the top spot, which the capital club currently holds with 39 points, 10 markers clear of second-running Kaya Makati.
Assistant coach Pong Liman believes the Sparks can rely on their second-stringers despite the suspension of rising striker Connor Tacagni.
“We have players that can take the duty of Connor. We have big weapons—our players coming from the bench,” said Liman.
JPV, meanwhile, looks to return to the winning track and enter the top four anew.
The Voltes squandered their advantage before settling for a 2-2 draw with Kaya at the University of Makati Football Stadium last week.
The Marikeños, currently No. 5 with 23 points, also target to surpass idle Ceres Negros FC and find their way back to the upper half of the table since July 9.
After two slim losses in their previous meetings with the leading club, JPV mentor Dan Padernal wants his men to keep an eye on their opponent’s strength.
“I can see the development in the past few weeks. In our previous games against Meralco, we have been beaten by set plays. So, we need to improve our defending there,” said Padernal.