Singapore Premier League • October 30, 2014
Balestier And Home Face Off In Cup Prelude
Balestier Khalsa vs Home United
(October 31, Friday, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
The showdown between Balestier Khalsa and Home United at Toa Payoh Stadium on Friday evening will be a warm-up of sorts for the upcoming Singapore Cup final on November 7.
Marko Kraljevic and Lee Lim Saeng will be using their respective clubs’ final game of the season to figure out their tactics and formations before their charges clash again at Jalan Besar Stadium a week later.
Lee will rue this season as another missed opportunity to win the league title he so desires since joining the Protectors four years ago.
With his side constantly dropping points against opponents in the final stages of the league this year, the South Korean saw their challenge for their title slipping away and finally conceded that the Bishan outfit had no more chance of taking the summit after a 3-2 loss to uniformed rivals Warriors FC.
The former defender will therefore look to finish the season on a good note by winning all of Home’s remaining games.
Kraljevic on the hand, has transformed Balestier Khalsa from perennial underdogs to giant-killers this season. He will look to do the double over the Protectors in a space of one week and end this season on cloud nine.
The Croatian saw his hopes of finishing in the top-three vanish after losing to Tampines Rovers, but still has a chance of leapfrogging Home to fifth position if they get all three points here.
Forward Goran Ljubojevic will be looking for a goal or two to add to his tally for the season, while wingers Ruhaizad Ismail and Zulkiffli Hassim will pose a threat down the flanks for the Tigers and cannot be taken lightly.
Home however, have to contend with the absence of the versatile Yasir Hanapi as he serves a one-match suspension after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season.
Suspension: Yasir Hanapi (Home United)
Key Men To Watch
Balestier Khalsa: Zaiful Nizam
An ever-present in the Balestier side, Zaiful has been a reliable presence in between the sticks for the Tigers this season with his heroics.
The former Gombak United custodian was immense against DPMM in their last match away from home as he offered a safe pair of hands and repelled waves after waves of attacks from their opposition.
Home United: Lee Kwan Woo
If there is one man the Tigers have to be wary of, that would be Lee Kwan Woo.
The South Korean playmaker has an eye for a pass and the ability to split open defences whilst popping up with the odd goal.
He scored a stunner against Albirex in their last game, a first-time volley from outside the area which gave the opposing keeper no chance and was a constant menace in the final third, and he will be looking to do the same against Balestier.
Balestier Khalsa – DLWWW
24/10/14 Brunei DPMM 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
18/10/14 Tampines Rovers 3-1 Balestier Khalsa
6/10/14 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
1/10/14 Warriors FC 0-1 Balestier Khalsa
25/9/14 Balestier Khalsa (4P) 1-0 (1) Tampines Rovers (RHB Singapore Cup SF 2nd Leg; 2-2 on aggregate)
Home United – LLLWD
24/10/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Home United
17/10/14 Home United 2-3 Warriors FC
2/10/14 Home United 0-1 Tampines Rovers
26/9/14 Brunei DPMM 2-3 Home United (RHB Singapore Cup SF 2nd Leg; 3-4 on aggregate)
23/9/14 Home United 1-1 Brunei DPMM (RHB Singapore Cup SF 1st Leg)
Head to Head (S.League)
20/6/14 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Home United
5/4/14 Home United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa
25/10/13 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United
17/7/13 Home United 1-2 Balestier Khalsa
4/4/13 Balestier Khalsa 0-4 Home United
17/6/12 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Home United
10/2/12 Home United 0-0 Balestier Khalsa
2/8/11 Balestier Khalsa 0-4 Home United
4/5/11 Home United 5-2 Balestier Khalsa