Singapore Premier League • June 19, 2014
Wounded Rams Face Warriors
Woodlands Wellington vs Warriors FC
(June 20, Friday, 7.30pm, Woodlands Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Two teams on opposite ends of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table clash as Woodlands Wellington take on title-chasing Warriors FC at Woodlands Stadium on Friday evening.
Warriors’ title pursuit has taken a dent in recent weeks, crumbling at the hands of Hougang United in a 3-2 defeat before they were held to a 1-1 draw by Balestier Khalsa in their last match.
Those dropped points mean that the uniformed outfit missed the chance to overtake Brunei DPMM and currently sit in second, one point behind the leaders.
Thus, Alex Weaver will surely expect no less than three points although he will have to make do without Miroslav Pejic who serves the second of his two-match suspension. It will undoubtedly be a blow to them as the winger has been instrumental in their surge up the table this season with his assists and occasional goal-scoring exploits.
However, they will welcome forward Nicholas Velez back from suspension. Having netted for the club’s Prime League side last weekend, he is expected to start and should be raring to go for this one.
Missing Jeremy Chiang and Thomas Beattie through long-term injuries, it has prompted Weaver to swoop for Ismail Yunos and Agu Casmirm, both of whom have has prior S.League experience to cope with the crisis as they continue their title charge.
While Ismail had a decent debut against Balestier, Agu will have to wait longer to make his first start as his International Transfer Certificate has yet to arrive.
On the other hand, the Rams will have a ‘new’ man leading the team out and he is Salim Moin.
The ex-international takes over the reins from the departed Darren Stewart and his immediate task is to lift the team up after a 7-1 hammering at the hands of Albirex Niigata (S) in their last game.
However, his task will not be made easier as they head into this match with five players out due to suspensions.
Walid Lounis and Armanizam Dolah both received their marching orders while Taufiq Ghani, Milos Jevtic and Andy Ahmad all sit out after picking up their fourth yellow card of the campaign against the White Swans.
The Rams have struggled this season to emulate their good run of form a year ago which saw them finish in fifth position as they find themselves languishing in tenth position with a mere 15 points from 16 matches.
But despite the clear gap in strength between both teams, it will not be an easy game for the Warriors. They have not found it smooth-sailing against Woodlands in recent years, winning just twice in five league matches, both victories with only a single-goal margin.
Suspensions: Walid Lounis, Armanizam Dolah, Taufiq Ghani, Milos Jevtic and Andy Ahmad (all Woodlands Wellington).
Key Men To Watch
Woodlands Wellington: Goh Swee Swee
With five players suspended for the Rams, Goh is likely to start as his versatility allows him to play in most outfield positions.
This was exemplified against Albirex when he was shifted inwards to be deployed in central midfield having started the match at right-back.
While his passing accuracy was at 65% against Tanjong Pagar United two matches ago, he managed to execute eight out of nine tackles (89%) successfully. Hence, he will be looking to do the same as they try to stop Warriors – who will have Velez back from suspension – from running riot.
Warriors FC: Hassan Sunny
Arguably the best shot-stopper in the country, Hassan was unlucky to have ended up on the losing side in their defeat to Hougang.
Despite conceding three goals, he was still at his best as he saved 67% of the shots and was the highest ranked goalkeeper with an InStat score of 126.
His distribution is another strength of his and against Hougang, 79% of his passes were accurate although only three out of nine long passes found its target.
Woodlands Wellington – LLLWD
11/6/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 7-1 Woodlands Wellington
7/6/14 Woodlands Wellington 0-2 Tanjong Pagar United
27/5/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-5 Geylang International (RHB Singapore Cup)
21/5/14 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Woodlands Wellington
15/5/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-1 Hougang United
Warriors FC – DLWLW
12/6/14 Warriors FC 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
8/6/14 Hougang United 3-2 Warriors FC
5/6/14 Harimau Muda 2-4 Warriors FC
27/5/14 Warriors FC 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (RHB Singapore Cup)
22/5/14 Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM
Head to Head (S.League)
3/4/14 Warriors FC 1-0 Woodlands Wellington
25/5/13 Warriors FC 1-1 Woodlands Wellington
21/2/13 Woodlands Wellington 2-2 Warriors FC
13/9/12 Warriors FC 2-1 Woodlands Wellington
5/4/12 Woodlands Wellington 2-2 Warriors FC
11/9/11 Warriors FC 7-0 Woodlands Wellington
26/5/11 Woodlands Wellington 1-5 Warriors FC
8/3/11 Warriors FC 5-0 Woodlands Wellington