News Singapore Premier League • July 20, 2018
Singapore Premier League Preview: We have every chance at derby victory against Tampines, says Geylang’s Jufri
Khairul Amri has hit ten goals this season for Tampines Rovers FC.
SINGAPORE, 20 JULY 2018 – It will be second against second-bottom in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) Eastern Derby on Saturday, 21 July at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) when Tampines Rovers FC take on Geylang International FC at 5.30pm.
BACKGROUND After a 1-1 draw with Brunei DPMM FC on Wednesday night, Tampines’ title chances are all but over.
It was the latest result from a run of fixtures against sides from the top half of the table over the past two weeks for Tampines, which only yielded two points out of a possible 12.
That has now left them 21 points behind leaders Albirex Niigata FC (S), with only seven games left to play.
In fact, the dismal run has now left the Stags looking nervously over their shoulders, with Home United FC and DPMM closing in on them in the table.
”We are very angry that we didn’t manage to get points from our last four games,” Tampines midfielder Yasir Hanapi said. “Even though we played good teams, we felt we did well and should have taken three wins out of four games.
“Especially for the game against Brunei DPMM, we should have killed the game off but we failed to take full advantage and get the three points again.”
But Geylang will not go down without a fight against their derby rivals, as the second-bottom side look to avoid a fourth loss in six games.
The loss of star striker Shawal Anuar has not helped matters and the Eagles could still end up bottom of the pile, with Hougang lurking behind by seven points.
“Basically, the club is not that far off from other teams but they are taking their chances and we are not, that’s the biggest difference,” said defender Jufri Taha.
Victory for Geylang would be savoured by their fans, who have watched Tampines walk away with all three points in each of their last three derbies.
Shawal Anuar is out for the long term but apart from that, the Eagles have a full squad to choose from.
Tampines should have a full squad to pick from too, although Head Coach Jurgen Raab might rotate his squad a little as they just played days ago.
27/05/18: Geylang 1-2 Tampines – Singapore Premier League
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
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR
Khairul Amri – Tampines
Amri is in a rich vein of form as he struck his 12th goal of the season against DPMM, which saw him hit double digits in league goals for the first time since 2013. He is the Stags’ key man in attack and will be relied upon for the goals for the rest of the season after Fazrul Nawaz’s departure.
Zainol Gulam – Geylang
Zainol has been sublime at times this year and he will need to show up once more against the joint second-best attack in the league.
WHAT ELSE THEY SAID
Tampines midfielder Yasir: “We already expected the worst (as) they just kept winning and didn’t drop any points. We all knew it was very difficult and (we only had) a slim chance of catching up to Albirex Niigata FC (S). Our realistic target is to aim for second place.
“We know every game is not going to be easy. Whoever plays against us will give their best so we have to be focused and give our best as well. We have a bit of an advantage and we should make use of it to win games.
“It’s not good news for us because we wouldn’t want bad things to happen to our local players, but it is going to be a bit easier for us without Shawal. He was one of the players that gave goals to the Eagles and even when we played against them, he was the one who kept causing trouble to our defence.”
Geylang defender Jufri: “I don’t see how we don’t any chance to compete; in fact I think we have a very good chance of competing with Tampines. It was just our bad luck not to get the result in our last game.
“(Without Shawal), we have now look to everyone else in the team to score goals. It’s a matter of when, who and how, but everyone can contribute to the goals.”