News Singapore Premier League • May 25, 2018
Singapore Premier League Preview: Confident Geylang hunt derby win against Tampines
Shawal Anuar is in fine goal-scoring form for Geylang International FC.
SINGAPORE, 25 MAY 2018 – Geylang International FC will look to continue their recent good form and end a streak of nine league matches without a win against Tampines Rovers FC in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) on Sunday, 27 May, at Bedok Stadium. The match will kick off at 8:30pm.
BACKGROUND : In the first Eastern Derby of the season, it was Tampines who came away with a resounding 3-1 victory, thanks to a Jordan Webb brace and a penalty from Khairul Amri.
Geylang, quite simply, were no match for the Stags in all aspects, with head coach Hirotaka Usui even admitting that there was a “mismatch of tactics”.
But the Eagles appear to have turned the corner, having won their last two matches and are unbeaten in three games.
A win against Tampines will see Geylang overtake their rivals in the SPL standings. But it will be no easy task, given that they have not won in nine straight league matches against their upcoming opponents.
That is a statistic Geylang defender Jufri Taha is aware of, having spent the previous eight years donning Tampines’ colours.
“Whilst I was on the other end, I realised that record and before those games I wanted to keep that intact,” the 33-year-old said. “This Sunday, I hope that changes. Being here now, I am just focused to give my best for the Eagles, put on a good showing, and hope we get ourselves a deserving result.”
Geylang’s upturn in fortunes has not gone unnoticed in the Tampines camp, according to winger Zulfadhmi Suzliman, who said the pressure will definitely be on if his side lose their second straight game.
He called on the team to forget the disappointing defeat to Albirex Niigata FC (S) last week – their second of the season – and bounce back on Sunday.
“That was just unlucky for us … but nevertheless, we always look forward for the upcoming games and continue to do well,” he said.
TEAM NEWS Geylang will continue to miss captain Anders Aplin, while defender Darren Teh is a doubt for the game.
As for Tampines, they will be missing Amri and Fahrudin Mustafic through suspension. Shannon Stephen, Irfan Najeeb and Safirul Sulaiman continue to miss out through injury, while Irwan Shah is doubtful for the game.
07/04/18: Tampines 3-1 Geylang – Singapore Premier League
15/10/17: Geylang 2-3 Tampines – Singapore Premier League
11/07/17: Tampines 1-4 Geylang – League Cup
29/06/17: Tampines 1-1 Geylang – Singapore Premier League
08/04/17: Geylang 0-4 Tampines – Singapore Premier League
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR
Shawal Anuar – Geylang
The forward has scored four goals in his last three games and is brimming with confidence right now – and that can only mean bad news for defenders in the league.
Against Warriors last week, he tormented his opponents with his pace and stretched the back-line time and again. Against Tampines, he will be counted upon by his team to do more of the same.
Fazrul Nawaz – Tampines
With Amri still unavailable, Fazrul will be counted upon to deliver the goods and a repeat of his performance against Albirex, where he scored once and made one, may well give Tampines the decisive edge.
WHAT ELSE THEY SAID
Geylang defender Jufri: “From the beginning, I’ve emphasised to my teammates how strong and good they actually are. It’s the faith and belief among the people involved with the club, the hard work the players put in at training day in, day out… it’s just us, showing up as who we are now.”
Tampines winger Zulfadhmi: “If they win, that definitely will put pressure on us but we still have a few games in hand. I believe the team will want to bounce back and get the win after the loss to Albirex.
“We have always stuck to the same game plan and we just need to play as per normal – our own style of football – to win the game on Sunday and also the upcoming games.”
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