Singapore Premier League • June 6, 2014
Eagles And Stags Prepared For Eastern Derby
Geylang International vs Tampines Rovers
(Jun 6, Friday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
In this ‘live’ encounter, reigning champions Tampines Rovers take on Geylang International at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Both teams come into this match with successes in the preliminary round of the Singapore Cup.
For Geylang, it could not have been a more comfortable victory as they thrashed Woodlands Wellington in a 5-1 scoreline, their biggest victory in the season to date.
As for Tampines, their progression to the quarter-finals was rocky as they got held by Harimau Muda even till the end of extra-time, and only kicks from the penalty mark could separate both sides, where the Stags came out 6-5 winners.
In the league, they endured through four consecutive draws before brushing aside Courts Young Lions which presented them with the third spot while Geylang suffered three consecutive defeats to Albirex Niigata (S), Warriors FC and Home United before the Singapore Cup preliminary round triumph.
Rafi Ali’s new appointment as head coach has not seen him lose any match yet, on the bright side.
It is certainly going to be an interesting battle at the attacking end of the Stags, as Miljan Mrdakovic and Aleksandar Duric are expected to bully the Geylang backline led by teenager Joaquin Lopez and Kento Fukuda.
A scrappy game could be in store, as both sides did not keep much of the ball in their last S.League games.
According to InStat, Tampines only managed 51% of ball possession while Geylang had 40%.
Sitting at third in the table, the Stags are behind Warriors FC and Brunei DPMM FC by two and six points respectively.
This match will not only serve as an eastern derby match, but also a clash between two teams who have experienced a revamp in the coaching seat this season.
Both Rafi and Jorg Steinebrunner have been proving their worth as the deserved gaffers, but who will be the successful one to write off the opponents this Friday?
Suspensions: Anaz Hadee, Abdil Qaiyyim (both Tampines Rovers)
Key Men To Watch
Geylang International: Franco Chivilo
The central midfielder made 73% of accurate passes, won 82% of challenges in attack and had an impressive 100% of successful dribbles.
With such level of performance in his last game, there is no doubt the Argentinean would be keen in maintaining his form, as he has Shahdan Sulaiman as his opposite number in this clash.
Tampines Rovers: Fahrudin Mustafic
Plying his trade in a makeshift centre-back position, the skipper has been working decently well with Abdil Qaiyyim at the heart of defence, guiding the former LionsXII player along the way.
However, with Qaiyyim having to serve a one-game suspension, Mustafic is preparing to partner either Norihiro Kawakami or Kunihiro Yamashita in defence and his presence in stabling the defence should prove crucial.
The former national midfielder won 80% of defensive challenges and 83% of tackles in the last league game against Courts Young Lions.
Geylang International- WLLLD
27/5/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-5 Geylang International (RHB Singapore Cup)
22/5/14 Geylang International 1-4 Home United
16/5/14 Geylang International 0-1 Warriors FC
8/5/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Geylang International
1/5/14 Geylang International 1-1 Tanjong Pagar United
Tampines Rovers – WWDDD
29/5/14 Harimau Muda (5) 1-1 (6p) (AET) Tampines Rovers
23/5/14 Courts Young Lions 1-2 Tampines Rovers
18/5/14 Home United 2-2 Tampines Rovers
8/5/14 Tampines Rovers 3-3 Warriors FC
1/5/14 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
Head to Head (S.League)
16/3/14 Tampines Rovers 3-0 Geylang International
9/5/13 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Geylang International
20/2/13 Geylang International 0-5 Tampines Rovers
15/9/12 Tampines Rovers 2-1 Geylang International
7/4/12 Geylang International 1-5 Tampines Rovers
25/10/11 Geylang International 0-2 Tampines Rovers
3/8/11 Tampines Rovers 0-2 Geylang International
21/4/11 Geylang International 0-1 Tampines Rovers