News Singapore Premier League • July 4, 2018

Singapore Premier League Preview: In-form Tampines face tough DPMM test


Khairul Amri is in great scoring form for Tampines Rovers FC.

SINGAPORE, 3 JUL 2018Tampines Rovers FC will look to continue their unlikely chase for top spot when they host a resurgent Brunei DPMM FC side in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) on Wednesday, 3 July at Our Tampines Hub. The match kicks off at 7.45pm.

BACKGROUND Tampines will head into Wednesday’s clash with DPMM knowing that they can ill afford to slip up, as they trail league leaders Albirex Niigata FC (S) by 11 points.

The Stags are in great form at the moment – they bounced back from the defeat against Warriors FC with two straight wins and in their last outing, they tore Balestier Khalsa FC apart with Khairul Amri scoring a hat-trick. They have also won six times in their last seven matches.

“I think it was crucial (to get back to winning ways immediately) because at that moment there were teams that were close to us in the league table,” said Tampines forward Fazrul Nawaz, who has four league goals to his name and is one of 11 different players in the team to have found the net.

Fazrul also added that the team isn’t thinking much about catching Albirex right now, as they prefer to “take it one game at a time and focus on ourselves”.

Wednesday’s game will be the first time this season both sides will  meet and while the Stags are 10 points ahead of DPMM in the table, albeit with two more matches played, Fazrul believes that they cannot take them lightly.

“We will be expecting a tough game on Wednesday as Brunei DPMM has got good individual players, and as a team they will make it tough for us too,” he said. “(We have to look out) for their two foreign attackers and their two best local players (Shah Razen and Adi Said) are also in their attacking line.”

DPMM have gone three games unbeaten since losing suffering two heavy defeats to league leaders Albirex Niigata S and Home United. In that period, they have plundered nine goals and look in fine nick.

They also showed resilience in their 2-1 come-from-behind win against Warriors last Saturday, which Coach Rene Weber was particularly happy with.

“We are improving,” he said. “We have won two games and drew once – we nearly beat Hougang United FC too – and every game we have at least three chances to score. That’s great because it means we are playing to win games.

On facing Tampines, Weber said that the team will need to prepare well, or they might be in for a tough time.

“Tampines is a very good side and they have five to six very good players,” the Brazilian added. “It will be a hard and difficult game for us, we must know how to play against them (and get a result), especially if we want to take advantage of our two games in hand.”

Tampines will be missing Shannon Stephen and Safirul Sulaiman after their season-ending injuries, but have everyone else available. DPMM on the other hand have a clean bill of health.

Tampines: WWLWW

03/11/17: DPMM 0-5 Tampines – Singapore Premier League
28/07/17: Tampines 2-0 DPMM – Singapore Premier League
08/07/17: Tampines 1-5 DPMM – League Cup
28/04/17: DPMM 0-1 Tampines – Singapore Premier League
01/10/16: Tampines 0-1 DPMM  – Singapore Premier League

Khairul Amri – Tampines
The forward is experiencing a purple patch of form – he has scored six times in his last five matches, and could have had one more had his goal been given against Home. What has made it more impressive is that he has scored his goals in a variety of ways – be it a close-range header and powerful efforts from distance and the Singapore international is expected to lead the way once again here.

Mojtaba Mollasaraei – DPMM
Adi Said may be getting the goals, but it is Iranian Mollasaraei who should deserve the plundits. It is no surprise that DPMM’s upturn in fortunes coincided with his return from injury, and the winger is unsurpisingly the team’s top creator with five assists. Capable of scoring himself too – he has four goals so far this season – DPMM will be hoping Mollasaraei gets it going once again on Wednesday.

Tampines striker Fazrul:
“It helps a lot as a forward (knowing that the team have a lot of players who are capable of scoring). It’s good to see that we got a lot of different scorers. After all it’s a team game, so it does help the forward (in taking the pressure off).”

DPMM Head Coach Weber: “We are improving a lot (since losing twice in a row). We are pressing ourselves in training to play better game by game and we are always thinking of winning games. Only by continuing to train strong can we develop a way to play better football.”

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