Singapore Premier League • April 25, 2014
Jaguars’ Test For Wounded Tampines
Tanjong Pagar United vs Tampines Rovers
(April 25, Friday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Tanjong Pagar face Tampines Rovers at Jalan Besar Stadium after both teams‘ respective losses to Home United, and Nay Pyi Taw from Myanmar in the AFC Cup.
Tanjong Pagar has been on a disappointing streak where they have not won any of their last three matches, with their last victory coming in a narrow 3-2 win over Courts Young Lions.
That game was also one of their only two wins this season so far, with the other being a 2-1 victory against Harimau Muda.
The Jaguars‘ opponents this Friday may look stronger on paper, but this may be a match they might be able to walk away from with at least a point, if not all three points.
Tampines may still be recovering from the loss to Nay Pyi Taw three days back, with the squad being fatigued and suffering from low morale.
With the Jaguars having played lesser games and having more time to recuperate, the fresh legs of Monsef Zerka and company should be expected to work some damage on the Stags, despite them coming into the game on the back of a 4-0 trouncing by Home.
However, as Salim Moin showed with the win over Balestier when he left top-scorer Miljan Mrdakovic on the bench and replaced the striker with Noh Alam Shah, he has the man-management skills to know when to rotate players to ensure his squad remain fresh.
The outcome will be hard to predict given the circumstances, but one thing which may occur is a high-scoring result, with both sides relatively offensive-driven.
Tanjong Pagar will rely on midfield anchorman Sebastien Etiemble to lead the other midfielders in cutting off the Tampines passes, as the Stags managed to keep 67% of possession in the last game against Woodlands, according to InStat.
The Jaguars will be expected to provide constant tests for Tampines goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at as they actually enjoyed 14 shots against Home United, with seven being on target.
Suspension: Asraf Rashid (Tanjong Pagar United)
Key Men to Watch
Tanjong Pagar United: Monsef Zerka
The target man is Tanjong Pagar United’s top-scorer with three goals, which is considered low for a player of his calibre.However, the French striker has been giving his all since the season started, with the threat he constantly poses in the attacking third.
Zerka had 50% of his shots hit the target in his last game against Home United and he will be hoping one of those turns out to be a goal against Tampines Rovers.
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.
Apart from his passing skills, the number ‘eight’ always has good control of the ball and changes the pace of the game with his vision.
Tanjong Pagar United – LDLWL
17/4/14 Home United 4-0 Tanjong Pagar United
10/4/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-1 Warriors FC
4/4/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Tanjong Pagar United
26/3/14 Courts Young Lions 2-3 Tanjong Pagar United
21/3/14 Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Woodlands Wellington
Tampines Rovers – LLWLL
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 3-1 Balestier Khalsa
8/4/14 Kitchee SC 4-0 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
5/4/14 Hougang United 4-2 Tampines Rovers
Head to Head (S.League)
26/10/13 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Tanjong Pagar United
20/9/13 Tampines Rovers 3-1 Tanjong Pagar United
5/5/13 Tanjong Pagar United 1-0 Tampines Rovers
20/7/12 Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Tampines Rovers
15/3/12 Tampines Rovers 2-1 Tanjong Pagar United
8/9/11 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Tanjong Pagar United
30/5/11 Tanjong Pagar United 1-3 Tampines Rovers
10/3/11 Tampines Rovers 4-1 Tanjong Pagar United