Singapore Premier League • April 18, 2014
Salim Square Off Against Former Club
Tampines Rovers vs Woodlands Wellington
(April 18, Friday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Kenneth Ho
Tampines Rovers coach Salim Moin will face his former side as the Stags take on Woodlands Wellington at Jalan Besar Stadium in the televised match of the week.
The Stags should not have much of a worry, as everything points to an inevitable victory for them, and anything less will be seen as an upset.
Having coached the Rams to a remarkable top-six finish the season before, Salim knows best what the Rams are capable of, as well as their weaknesses. It will be unthinkable that Salim does not apply his knowledge of Woodlands to exploit any gaps they might have.
If the form books are to be followed, the chances of a upset by Woodlands also seem low.
Tampines bounced back from their first and only loss in the league this season with a 3-1 victory over Balestier in their last game, and are standing at the top of the league after earning six wins from seven matches.
The Rams are down in 10th place, and have only managed to earn one win so far, with them losing two of their last three fixtures.
What the Rams have been missing so far are the goals, as their South Korean duo Moon Soon Ho and Chang Jo Yoon have failed to find the net on a regular basis this season. This is as opposed to the last campaign when they shared 28 goals between them.
Goals win games, and even though this is pretty obvious, Moon and Chang need to find form real soon, or the Rams will be in for a tough time.
But this task will not come any easier.
The Stags will have five days of rest since their last game, a rare occurrence so far given that Salim’s charges have had to play a game almost once every three or four days since the start of their AFC Cup campaign.
With Tampines most likely to be refreshed, Woodlands might not find it as easy to penetrate the Tampines defence as they would like.
The history books have shown that a match between these two sides always yields a high-scoring one, but it may be the first time a low-scoring encounter will occur.
Key Men To Watch
Tampines Rovers: Miljan Mrdakovic
Having been rested in the previous game, Mrdakovic should be raring to go again. The marquee signing for Tampines has already started repaying the club’s faith in him with 10 goals so far, and there is no reason to suggest he will be unable to grab one against the Rams.
Woodlands Wellington: Yazid Yasin
Everything points to a Tampines victory, and by any reckoning, the goalkeeper will have a busy game to contend with. Not the biggest of goalkeeper in size, but definitely one with the biggest heart and most experience is Yazid.
The veteran has seen everything there is in the league, given that he is the only player to still be playing since the inception of the domestic division, and he should not be fazed by the prospect of facing Tampines attacks.
Tampines Rovers – WLLWW
13/4/14 Tampines Rovers 3-1 Balestier Khalsa
8/4/14 Kitchee SC 4-0 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
5/4/14 Hougang United 4-2 Tampines Rovers
1/4/14 Pune FC 2-5 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
27/3/14 Tampines Rovers 3-2 Harimau Muda
Woodlands Wellington – LLDWD
13/4/14 Woodlands Wellington 0-3 Home United
3/4/14 Warriors FC 1-0 Woodlands Wellington
26/3/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
21/3/14 Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Woodlands Wellington
13/3/14 Courts Young Lions 2-2 Woodlands Wellington
Head to Head (S.League)
4/11/13 Woodlands Wellington 3-6 Tampines Rovers
29/8/13 Woodlands Wellington 3-3 Tampines Rovers
27/4/13 Tampines Rovers 3-1 Woodlands Wellington
17/7/12 Woodlands Wellington 0-3 Tampines Rovers
9/3/12 Tampines Rovers 4-0 Woodlands Wellington
16/9/11 Woodlands Wellington 0-4 Tampines Rovers
18/6/11 Tampines Rovers 5-0 Woodlands Wellington
4/4/11 Woodlands Wellington 1-3 Tampines Rovers