Warriors FC are in for a tough Singapore Premier League (SPL) game when they take to Our Tampines Hub this Sunday, 17 June, as they face an in-form Tampines Rovers.
Both teams played out a goalless draw earlier in the season but it will be a major surprise if the same occurred this weekend.
Tampines have been on a roll with four consecutive victories, allowing them to stay within touching distance of relentless league leaders Albirex Niigata (S) FC.
This does not bode well for the visiting Warriors FC, even though they just secured their first win of the season in a 2-0 win over cellar dwellers Hougang United.
It was a triumph which ended the Warriors’ worst-ever start to a season, but it came against arguably the weakest team in the league right now.
The result might also be a real morale booster but the Warriors know that they toiled to victory and their performance will have to improve vastly, if they are to end the Stags’ run of wins.
In particular, the Warriors need to bolster their striking options to pose a threat to the side with the second-best defence in the league. Tampines have only conceded nine goals currently, two more than Albirex.
Warriors too will need to be wary of Tampines’ strike force, with Khairul Amri and Fazrul Nawaz in red-hot form of late.
In Tampines’ last game, both of them scored to earn a 2-0 win over Hougang United. Amri now has six goals to his name while Fazrul can account for five.
Both teams will be missing a player due to suspension, with Shameer Aziq sitting out for the Stags while Poh Yi Feng will do likewise for Warriors.
On the injury front for the hosts, Shannon Stephen and Safirul Sulaiman are still on the treatment table while Irfan Najeeb’s involvement remains to be seen. Khairul Nizam will also miss out for the Warriors.
Warriors FC: DLLDW
21/04/18: Warriors 0-0 Tampines – Singapore Premier League
20/09/17: Tampines 1-1 Warriors – Singapore Premier League
22/06/17: Warriors 0-1 Tampines – Singapore Premier League
01/04/17: Tampines 0-1 Warriors – Singapore Premier League
12/08/16: Warriors 2-3 Tampines – Singapore Premier League
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR:
Khairul Amri (Tampines Rovers)
After being hit with a two-match suspension, Amri has returned with vengeance to account for two goals in his last three appearances. The Singapore international has a penchant for the spectacular strikes and you would not put it beyond him to clinch a winner in that manner.
Jonathan Behe (Warriors FC)
Can you look past the striker at his moment? Behe currently has struck seven times in the league in eight appearances, but he would have averaged at least a goal a game, had the referee not awarded one of his strike to Delwinder Singh.
WHAT ELSE THEY SAID:
Tampines Rovers FC Defender Daniel Bennett: “I would rather have the best defence in the league. The goals we have conceded have been soft and we need to stop them. I think from the first game vs Warriors we know how competitive they are.
“They have been unfortunate with some results and deserve to be a little higher up the table. Playing at home I would hope we have an advantage but they have a few danger men we must be wary of.”
Warriors FC Forward Jonathan Behe: “Indeed we are confident. We expected this first victory over Hougang since it’s been a long time that we won. But honestly it’s already been a good while that we deserved to win games. I think we can score against any team, we already proved that against Albirex.
“It will be a good meeting and I hope that it will be our second victory. For the goal that was awarded to Delwinder Singh, it’s my goal that everyone has seen. I still do not understand why after watching the video the league did not give me my goal! For what they spend money for recording? I hope that they will reconsider their position and attribute it to me.”