Singapore Premier League • May 14, 2014
Warriors Wary of Hungry Eagles
Geylang International vs Warriors FC
(May 16, Friday, 7.30pm, Bedok Stadium)
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
Geylang International will be looking to avenge their opening day defeat to Warriors FC as they take on the visitors at Bedok Stadium.
While Warriors ran away with all three points then, it will not be as easy case this time round for them. Since taking over from V.Kanan, Jorg Steinebrunner has introduced an attacking flair to the Eastern side and they have steadily climbed the league table.
Geylang’s captain Ridhuan Muhammad has adapted well to the side after a shaky start to the season and Leonel Felice has been influential in the final third, banging in six goals after Week 11.
One setback for the Eagles is the suspension to key midfielder Mustaqim Manzur who is out for one match after he was sent off in their loss to Albirex last week for a second bookable offence.
But despite Mustaqim’s absence, the tie will still throw up an interesting battle in the middle of the field between the Geylang’s pair of tough tackling midfielders, Fabian Kwok and Franco Chilivo, and Warriors’ Thomas Beattie who formed a sparkling partnership with Kevin McCann in that area of play.
Warriors were unlucky not to bring home all three points in their last outing against Tampines Rovers and will be hoping to nick all three points this time round. Expect a similar line-up for the Rhinos as coach Weaver is not known to tinker with his starting eleven.
Upfront, goal-scoring responsibilities will fall upon Miroslav Pejic and Nicholas Velez while captain Daniel Bennett will continue his leadership role at the back.
Suspension: Mustaqim Manzur (Geylang International)
Key Men To Watch
Geylang International: Kento Fukuda
Along with compatriot Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda has kept things tight at the back with his excellent reading of the game and bravery in challenges.
Although he only won half of the challenges he went in for, he won a decent 79% of challenges in defence and 71% overall successful challenges in their draw against Tanjong Pagar in Week 10.
The Japanese defender who celebrated his 24th birthday a day before the match will be eager to put up a solid performance as a gift for himself and the club.
Fukuda is also known for his aerial challenges at the back and playing the long ball to the final third from deep in his own half.
Warriors FC: Hassan Sunny
The Singapore international was unfortunate to concede three goals against reigning league champions Tampines a week ago. But prior to the Stag’s second goal, Hassan displayed a stupendous acrobatic saving feat, keeping out the missiles that came from all directions.
Even in their 4-1 drubbing by Home United in Week 10, the national custodian put on a brave performance that earned the praise of the Protectors’ coach Lee Lim Saeng.
Hassan is also commanding at the back, barking instructions and marshalling the backline with confidence and leadership.
Geylang International – LDDDW
8/5/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Geylang International
1/5/14 Geylang International 1-1 Tanjong Pagar United
26/4/14 Geylang International 1-1 Woodlands Wellington
17/4/14 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Geylang International
11/4/14 Geylang International 3-2 Hougang United
Warriors FC – DLWWD
8/5/14 Tampines Rovers 3-3 Warriors FC
2/5/14 Warriors FC 1-4 Home United
24/4/14 Courts Young Lions 2-3 Warriors FC
16/4/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-4 Warriors FC
10/4/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-1 Warriors FC
Head to Head (S.League)
23/2/14 Warriors FC 2-1 Geylang International
18/10/13 Geylang International 3-0 Warriors
6/8/13 Warriors 0-0 Geylang International
16/3/13 Geylang International 0-3 Warriors
1/11/13 Geylang International 3-0 Warriors
10/5/12 Warriors 2-2 Geylang International
31/10/11 Geylang International 3-6 Warriors
19/5/11 Warriors 3-1 Geylang International
27/2/11 Geylang International 2-0 Warriors