Singapore Premier League • May 8, 2014
Clash Of The Titans
Tampines Rovers vs Warriors FC
(May 8, Thursday, 7.30pm, Clementi Stadium)
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
Perennial powerhouses Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC, both on 20 points each in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League, will be looking for a win to keep pace with league leaders Brunei DPMM, when the two meet at Clementi Stadium.
Warriors come into this match on the back of a 4-1 thumping by Home United while the Stags are coming to terms with the departure of their head coach Salim Moin who resigned days prior to their previous match against Albirex Niigata (S).
With DPMM storming past their opponents with ease and leading the pack with a five-point gap at the top, Alex Weaver and Tampines’ interim coach Rafi Ali knows that anything less than a win will be detrimental to their own title hopes.
Following their loss to the Protectors a week ago, Weaver stressed that his team need to regain their focus and prepare both physically and mentally for this crucial tie.
But their preparations have been blighted by an injury to right-back Jeremy Chiang and Kevin McCann, who is suspended for the tie after receiving his fourth yellow cards against the Protectors.
One of the best performer in recent matches for Warriors is Nicholas Velez. According to Instat, the Argentine was the best player in Week 8, notching up an Instat index of 257. Velez was helped by his above-average rate of 63% shooting accuracy, with four of those finding the back of the net.
While there are no injury worry for Rafi, he will be hoping for a better performance from his charges as compared to their match against the White Swans.
Although Tampines boast big names in their squad, including ex-Singapore internationals such as Mustafic Fahrudin, Aleksandar Duric and Noh Alam Shah, there seems to be a lack of cohesiveness in the squad, especially in attack.
But they can take pride in midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman who has been putting out a consistent performance in recent matches.
Despite going down to Woodlands Wellington in Week 8, the national team player had an impressive 84% of successful passes.
Suspension: Kevin McCann
Key Men To Watch:
Tampines Rovers: Shahdan Sulaiman
The main reason the midfielder is in the national set-up is because of his passing accuracy, whether long or short. Shahdan had 84% of his passes accurately finding its mark against Woodlands Wellington.
Shahdan is a quiet worker who likes to lurk down the flanks and send deadly balls into the dangerous area. Do keep a lookout for his inswinging corner-kicks and set-pieces too.
Warriors FC: Hassan Sunny
Despite conceding four goals against Home in their previous match, it could have been a bigger margin loss for Warriors’ had it not been for the brilliance of the national custodian.
Hassan was unstoppable with his shot-stopping antics prior to Home’s second goal and is commanding with his backline since the start of the season.
Tampines Rovers – DDLLW
1/5/14 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
25/4/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-1 Tampines Rovers
22/4/14 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Nay Pyi Taw (AFC Cup)
18/4/14 Tampines Rovers 1-2 Woodlands Wellington
13/4/14 Tampines Rovers 3-0 Balestier Khalsa
Warriors FC – LWWDW
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
3/4/14 Warriors FC 1-0 Woodlands Wellington
Head to Head (S.League)
28/6/13 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Warriors FC
21/3/13 Warriors FC 0-1 Tampines Rovers
19/10/12 Warriors FC 2-3 Tampines Rovers
28/4/12 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Warriors FC
27/9/11 Warriors FC 1-3 Tampines Rovers
21/6/11 Tampines Rovers 1-2 Warriors FC
24/3/11 Warriors FC 0-1 Tampines Rovers