Singapore Premier League • March 26, 2014
Protectors To Bury Cheetahs’ Ghost of 2013
Home United vs Hougang United
(March 27, Thursday, 7.30pm, Bishan Stadium)
Written by: Kenneth Ho
Hougang United travel to Bishan stadium to take on the Protectors on 27 March and the visitors will have to be wary of Home in this game.
Title challengers Home United come into this game after running out comfortable winners in the 3-0 victory over Harimau Muda.
The Protectors have benefited from the return of its key players, with Fazrul Nawas and Bruno Castanheira coming back from injury while Qiu Li returned to the side after his two-match suspension.
The trio were in imperious form against the Young Tigers, with Fazrul the most impressive of the lot with his two-goal display. Aided by the evergreen Lee Kwan Woo, Home pose a dangerous threat to the Hougang United defence.
Hougang will be devastated by news that captain and goalkeeper Fadhil Salim will be out of contention for the next few games as he recovers from injury and they will need to rally to mitigate the loss of their number one goalkeeper.
But this is not to say the Cheetahs will definitely struggle in this game.
Although they lack a big-name player in their squad, Hougang have been pushing through games with tenacity, with the Cheetahs scoring late goals in two of their four games so far an example of their determination.
The Cheetahs also have Azhar Sairudin in the engine room, and the midfielder packs a mean kick from dead-ball situations. So if Hougang can make use of their set-pieces wisely, they may be able to walk away from Bishan stadium with a result.
Key Men To Watch
Home United: Fazrul Nawas
The Protectors have not been able to field an out-and-out striker since the start of the season and the debut of Fazrul has showed the league what Home are capable of when they have an orthodox forward in their line-up; a 3-0 demolition of Harimau Muda, with two goals coming from Fazrul.
The frontman should be leading the line for the Protectors and his intelligent movements should be hard for the Cheetahs to cope with.
Hougang United: Azhar Sairudin
The spotlight does not usually shine upon Azhar he does not score many goals, but the midfielder’s influence on the team cannot be discounted. Against Albirex, Azhar not only set up a goal, but Instats also showed that the industrious midfielder was responsible for 12 tackles, of which 7 were successful.
The midfielder is also capable of finding his targets with long passes. Of the 25 passes he made in the game against Albirex from midfield to the danger area, 19 were successful. His penetrative passes and set-pieces delivery will be key in the Cheetahs securing a result at Bishan Stadium.
Home United – WLDWL
23/3/14 Harimau Muda 0-3 Home United
14/3/14 Home United 0-3 Brunei DPMM
11/3/14 Home United 1-1 Persipura Jayapura (AFC Cup)
1/3/14 Home United 4-1 Geylang International
25/2/14 New Radiant 1-0 Home United (AFC Cup)
Hougang United – LWWDL
20/3/14 Warriors FC 2-0 Hougang United
12/3/14 Hougang United 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
27/2/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Hougang United
22/2/14 Hougang United 2-2 Woodlands Wellington
5/11/13 Courts Young Lions 2-0 Hougang United
Head to Head (S.League)
19/9/13 Home United 0-3 Hougang United
29/4/13 Hougang United 1-0 Home United
21/7/12 Home United 1-1 Hougang United
15/3/12 Hougang United 1-2 Home United
1/11/11 Hougang United 0-2 Home United
16/5/11 Home United 4-2 Hougang United
2/3/11 Hougang United 0-5 Home United