Singapore Premier League • October 26, 2015
Tigers Ready To Win Ugly
Written By: Kenneth Ho
Home United vs Balestier Khalsa
(Monday, 26 October, 7.30pm, Yishun Stadium)
Balestier Khalsa are ready to forsake style for victory when they play Home United at the Yishun Stadium.
Sitting in second place in the league, the Tigers need to maintain their winning ways if they want to keep up with league leaders Brunei DPMM, who are ahead by six points.
And they will do it at any cost, even if it means having to adopt a more defensive strategy, as Albirex Niigata (S) and Courts Young Lions found out in their respective 1-0 defeats to Balestier.
“Winning the title is winning the title, nobody cares how you win,” a defiant Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic asserted.
“Three points is all that matters. At the end of the day, if we win the title, nobody will mention about the 1-0s and or that we didn’t play well.”
However, Kraljevic also knows it won’t be easy against a resurgent Home, who have not lost their last nine league games.
In fact, the Protectors could have easily been the ones challenging DPMM right now had they been playing the way they have in the last few matches.
Most recently, Home came back from two goals down to put DPMM to the sword and force a 4-4 draw in the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium. They then beat defending S.League champions Warriors FC 2-1 in their last game.
“We drop the points, we drop the hope,” Kraljevic explained. “It’ll be very tough, next game Home United will be very tough.”
Home will be boosted by the return of Sirina Camara, who finally completed his four-game suspension. However, they will lose the service captain Noh Rahman after he picked up his fourth yellow card of the campaign.
Balestier too will be missing key defender Igor Cerina due to suspension.
Suspensions: Noh Rahman (Home United), Igor Cerina (Balestier Khalsa)
Key Men To Watch
Home United: Azhar Sairudin
Against Warriors FC, Azhar was everywhere on the pitch. He threw himself into challenges in an attempt to win possession, and up front the hard working midfielder was unlucky not to have scored as Warriors goalkeeper Daniel Ong kept denying him.
His all-round display will surely be needed if Home wants to break down a very stubborn Balestier side.
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam
After keeping four clean sheets in a row, Zaiful will hope to continue his record.
With Cerina missing at the back, Home might find themselves with many more opportunities to score and Zaiful needs to command his backline accordingly in order to stop the Protectors.
Home United – WWLDW
21/10/15 Home United 2-1 Warriors FC (S.League)
17/10/15 Brunei DPMM 4-4 Home United (S.League)
02/10/15 Brunei DPMM 3-2 Home United (Singapore Cup)
17/09/15 Hougang United 0-1 Home United (S.League)
27/08/15 Courts Young Lions 0-2 Home United (S.League)
Balestier Khalsa – DDWWW
19/10/15 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Courts Young Lions (S.League)
16/10/15 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
27/09/15 Harimau Muda 0-2 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
22/09/15 Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Harimau Muda (S.League)
18/09/15 Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Geylang International (S.League)
Head to Head (S.League)
03/08/15 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Home United
08/04/15 Home United 3-1 Balestier Khalsa
31/10/14 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United
20/06/14 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Home United
05/04/14 Home United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa