Singapore Premier League • March 1, 2014

A Battle of Midfield Superiority


Brunei DPMM vs Warriors FC

(February 28, Friday, 8.15pm, Bandar Seri Begawan)

Written by: Khalis Rifhan

Both Warriors Football Club and Brunei DPMM opened their 2014 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League campaign with wins over Geylang International and Albirex Niigata (S) respectively.

Keen to improve on their standings from last year, both clubs have strengthened their squad and the new recruits certainly did not disappoint on their debut.

For Alex Weaver, he will be banking on former Home United player Hafiz Rahim to pull the strings upfront and hope that their two new foreign recruits Miroslav Pejic and Nicolaz Velez will continue their telepathic understanding.

Based on InStat report, Warriors dominated 56% of possession against Geylang compared to DPMM’s 42% against Albirex. This is primarily due to Kevin McCann and Thomas Beattie stamping their authority in midfield.

While Beattie will be out of the match due to a medial collateral ligament sprain, Warriors can still call upon ex-Singapore international Shi Jiayi or opt for the young and adventurous Dharham Aziz.

Fans can expect an endless attacking football in Brunei as Warriors had the highest numbers of attack in week one, 107 in total and most of it came from the right flank.

But DPMM will be a totally different game for Warriors altogether. Although they managed only a 1-0 win over Albirex, Steve Kean’s charges impressed the crowd with their fast-paced football and slick interchangeable passes.

Joe Gamble and Roberto Alviz were involved in most of their attack with locals Azwan Ali and captain Rosmin Kamis holding the fort, putting up a strong and determined fight in midfield.

Warriors will not find it easy against the Brunei outfit who have the highest number of defensive challenges and aerial challenges won, 67% and 59% respectively.

But if DPMM are to end their four match losing streak to Warriors in the league, they will be hoping for Roy O’Donovan and Rodrigo Tosi to lead the way and be decisive in front of goal.

Key Man to Watch

Brunei DPMM : Rodrigo Tosi

InStat data showed that the Brazilian is the key man for the side in their previous match, notching up an index score of 137. Although Rodrigo is deployed as the main target man, the striker is not one to wait for the ball at the end of the field.

Rodrigo likes to linger around in midfield, win possession back for DPMM and attracting his markers to come out of their zone to allow the other players to roam into the final third.

The 31-year-old also commands aerial prowess, knocking down the long ball for his teammate and an asset while defending set-pieces.

Warriors FC: Kevin McCann

The former Scotland Under-21 international’s presence in midfield was a key factor in their victory against Geylang and had an Instat index score of 126. McCann is the type of players that Warriors sorely needed a year ago and Weaver will once again be relying on the ex Livingston player to hold the fort in midfield.

He is also a no-nonsense player who keeps it simple and has an eye for off the ball movements with a 66% passing accuracy while winning 76% of the challenges.


22/02/14       Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Brunei DPMM

6/11/13          Brunei DPMM 2-2 Geylang International

31/10/13       Harimau Muda B 2-2 Brunei DPMM

23/10/13       Warriors FC 3-2 Brunei DPMM

19/10/13       Brunei DPMM 1-0 Hougang United

27/9/13         Courts Young Lions 2-3 Brunei DPMM

Warriors – WDLWL

23/02/14       Warriors 2-1 Geylang International

5/11/13         Warriors 1-1 Harimau Muda

31/10/13      Courts Young Lions 2-1 Warriors

23/10/13      Warriors 3-2 Brunei DPMM

18/10/13     Geylang International 3-0 Warriors

25/9/13       Warriors 1-1 Hougang United

Head to Head (S.League)

23/10/13    Warriors 3-2 Brunei DPMM

29/8/13      Warriors 3-1 Brunei DPMM

5/5/13        Brunei DPMM 0-2 Warriors

23/6/12      Brunei DPMM 1-2 Warriors

19/2/12     Warriors 1-2 Brunei DPMM