Singapore Premier League • May 14, 2014
Harimau Look To Inch Away From Root Of Table
Tanjong Pagar United vs Harimau Muda
(May 16, Friday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Kenneth Ho
Tanjong Pagar United are a wounded side taking on the inexperienced Harimau Muda at Jalan Besar Stadium in this week’s televised match, especially after their recent 4-0 thumping by Brunei DPMM last week.
The Jaguars have endured a six-game winless streak since their last win over Courts Young Lions, and against the cellar dwellers this match represents the best chance for them to gain a much-needed win again.
With players such as Kamel Ramdani making their returns from injuries, we might finally see Patrick Vallee put out his best eleven and this does not bode well for the Young Tigers.
However, this is not to suggest Harimau will be easy opponents.
Although the Malaysian developmental team lost their first ten consecutive games, they have shown glimpse of their talents in various games.
That finally yielded them their first points of the season after they stemmed the rout and earned a 1-0 victory over Woodlands Wellington in their last game.
What the Jaguars need to be wary of is the athleticism of the Young Tigers. The young side can run a lot more than their older counterparts, and if Tanjong Pagar allow their opponents to dictate the pace of the game, they might tire themselves out and suffer the consequences for it.
The Jaguars are also not exactly most renown for their defensive efforts, as they have also the third-worst defence in the league with 20 goals scored. Instat showed that they are especially vulnerable at defending set pieces, with 45% of goals being conceded from there.
However, what works against Harimau is their relative lack of experience. The Young Tigers may tire out their opponents, but they too need to learn when to attack and when to defend.
The incessant running could help them, but it could also work against them as Harimau tire themselves out along the way.
Instat showed that most of the goals Harimau conceded have come in the last 15 minutes of the game, to suggest a lapse in concentration or fitness might have a part to play in their woeful defensive record.
Key Men To Watch
Tanjong Pagar United: Monsef Zerka
For a player of his pedigree, it is inconceivable how Zerka only has three goals to his name so far, especially since Instat suggested that on average the Jaguars conjure the third most attacks in the league, and are only behind Home United and Albirex Niigata.
With the return of Kamel Ramdani, the forward might not have to play too deep to start the ball rolling and play a more crucial role upfront.
This game might see Zerka finally break his barren spell of six games, as the Jaguars go up against the worst defence of the league, and he should be aiming to boost his confidence level by grabbing a goal or two here.
Harimau Muda: Ramzi Sufian
The Young Tigers may have only scored nine goals in the league so far, but that does not mean that they are lacking in quality strikers. The only thing lacking in Ramzi is experience and physical strength, as he is often shunned away by opposing defenders with much ease.
He scored in his last game against Woodlands Wellington to grant his side a first win and he may be looking to add another to his goal tally of three.
Tanjong Pagar United – LDDLD
9/5/14 Brunei DPMM 4-0 Tanjong Pagar United
1/5/14 Geylang International 1-1 Tanjong Pagar United
25/4/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-1 Tampines Rovers
17/4/14 Home United 4-0 Tanjong Pagar United
10/4/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-1 Warriors FC
Harimau Muda – WLLLL
7/5/14 Harimau Muda 1-0 Woodlands Wellington
30/4/14 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Harimau Muda
24/4/14 Harimau Muda 3-4 Hougang United
20/4/14 Harimau Muda 2-3 Courts Young Lions
11/4/14 Brunei DPMM 5-0 Harimau Muda
Head to Head (S.League)
24/2/14 Harimau Muda 1-2 Tanjong Pagar United
14/5/13 Harimau Muda 3-0 Tanjong Pagar
5/3/13 Tanjong Pagar United 1- 1 Harimau Muda
13/7/12 Tanjong Pagar United 0-2 Harimau Muda
2/3/12 Harimau Muda 3-0 Tanjong Pagar