Singapore Premier League • April 30, 2018
Singapore Premier League Preview: Behe return to boost Warriors in home clash with DPMM
Jonathan Behe’s return from injury is a significant boost for Warriors FC.
SINGAPORE, 30 APRIL 2018 – Warriors FC will need to find form quickly if they are to get their first Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) win of the season when they entertain Brunei DPMM FC at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Wednesday night, 2 May. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
BACKGROUND Of the four meetings between both sides last season, Warriors emerged victorious in three games and plundered 12 goals in the process. That included a 5-1 thrashing they handed to the Bruneians in the League Cup – a game where they were vastly superior in all aspects.
But any expectations of similar results for the Choa Chu Kang-based side would be almost impossible, given the difference in fortunes for both teams currently.
Warriors are enduring their worst-ever start to the season since the inaugural season in 1996, having taken just three points from six games. Their previous worst starts were three games without a victory, which occurred in 2012 and 2016.
They enter the match on the back of a 2-1 loss to Balestier Khalsa FC on Sunday, where they were largely dominated.
The only positive was Jonathan Behe’s return from injury and the Frenchman, who missed four games since netting in the opening game of the season against Geylang International FC, came off the bench to score.
Warriors will need Behe to be firing on all cylinders against DPMM, who are a rejuvenated side this year.
They have won two of their opening three games convincingly, with the only blip a 2-0 defeat to champions Albirex Niigata FC (S).
Half of their eight goals have been scored by Volodymyr Priyomov, the former Shakhtar Donetsk forward who has hit the ground running and looks to be one an early favourite for the Golden Boot.
Still, DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber is wary of looking too much into the form guide.
“They are a big club,” the 56-year-old said. “Sometimes big clubs do not start well in the league and it’s normal in football… they are still a great club in Singapore. We are going to face an opponent looking to win their first game. It will be hard.”
Warriors will need to count on a superb start to the game if they want to earn a result, given that DPMM have conceded three of their five goals in the opening 20 minutes.
TEAM NEWS Ismadi Mukhtar will be suspended for the Warriors after getting sent off in their last game. Warriors will also be missing Emmeric Ong, who has racked up four yellow cards.
As for DPMM, it appears that they will have a full-strength side.
21/10/17: DPMM 3-2 Warriors – Singapore Premier League
18/07/17: DPMM 1-5 Warriors – League Cup
02/07/17: Warriors 1-0 DPMM – Singapore Premier League
15/04/17: DPMM 3-5 Warriors – Singapore Premier League
19/08/17: DPMM 3-0 Warriors – Singapore Premier League
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR
Jonathan Behe – Warriors
Easily the most important player for his team this season, Behe holds the key to his team’s fortunes. When he missed four games, Warriors were unable to put away chances. Blessed with pace and size, Warriors will be banking on him to help the team end their poor run of form.
Volodymyr Priyomov – DPMM
The Ukrainian forward has been impressive thus far and is a major reason why DPMM has got off to a good start.
With a keen eye for goal, be it from open play or set-pieces, Warriors have to keep him on a tight leash if they want to get a result.
WHAT ELSE THEY SAID
Warriors Head Coach Mirko Grabovac: “Behe is a very important player for us, he can make some difference and with him, the team looks better. We shall see today if he will be fit enough to start… I hope he is going to start to play.”
DPMM Head Coach Weber: “We want to be always in top four… near the leaders, and to be in the right position to bounce on to the top. I want us to win away games, especially since we have eight away games coming up now between May and June.”
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