Kitchee hope to save their best for the last as they take on South China for the last time in the campaign in a top-of-the-table clash which could virtually decide the championship this season.
With three rounds left for both teams, the winners at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground today will have one hand on the league trophy, which Kitchee have held the last two seasons.
The defending champions, however, have not won any of their previous four encounters with the Caroliners so far this season, and team boss Ken Ng Kin admits they face an uphill battle.
"South China are leading the table and are determined to win the title back after losing it to us two seasons in a row," said Ng. "Kitchee have a tough season for playing in two fronts - domestic competitions and the AFC Cup. The players are feeling the heat of the hectic schedule. But we all know the importance of the match as a victory will certainly give us a big chance to retain the prestigious title for another season. I won't question the spirit of the players as the reward is just too big to resist."
South China are leading the table on 33 points, two ahead of Kitchee. Even a draw today will still give the Caroliners a big advantage over their rivals but convenor Steven Lo Kit-sing said they wanted to beat Kitchee again to earn the championship.
Meanwhile, Wofoo Tai Po gave their First Division survival hopes a boost after coming from behind to beat Southern 2-1 at home yesterday.
"I could not sleep well for the whole week because the result is so important to us," said a relieved Tai Po coach Cheung Po-chun. "We have now extended our lead over [bottom side] Sun Hei by five points."