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Sparks face biggest test in post-Younghusband era in Capital Clasico rematch

The stakes will be higher in the second Capital Clasico as Meralco Manila looks to take the top spot away from Kaya Makati .(file)
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- Facing their biggest test on Saturday after the aforementioned Younghusband brothers went down south, Meralco Manila is looking to end their slump when Kaya Makati come to Rizal Memorial in a top-of-the-table Capital Clasico rematch on Saturday.

Facing the media Friday morning, gaffer Aris Caslib and Joaco CaƱas said that the second-running Sparks are on their way to move on further from the brothers as they face the league leaders in a 7 p.m. kick-off in the longest active club rivalry in Philippine football.


"We're on our way going up," Caslib summarized his thoughts just two days after Global Cebu dealt them just their second setback all season, noting that Phil and James comprise almost two-thirds of the goalscoring output, including a penalty from the former in their 2-0 triumph away at UMak more than a month ago.


The Spanish centreback is all praises to Simon Greatwich's debut as the new Sparks skipper, as it helps the team, and he thinks that the stakes are higher with league leadership on the line.

"It's always a tough game versus Kaya. We are eager to prove our value and perform well," he quoted.

With the last fixture without the brothers dates back six years ago, Caslib singles out Miguel Tanton as the biggest threat to their side.

"The presence of Miguel [Tanton] for Kaya creates a different picture on how Kaya will play. It gives them good space to maneuver in the middle. We need to stop that," he added, noting that the fiery midfielder will be available in the reverse fixture, after missing out on the previous encounter due to suspension.


Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada