News • February 19, 2016
Stags Seeking First Win in Nine Attempts Against Warriors
Written by: Alex Weaver
Warriors FC v Tampines Rovers
(Friday, 19th February, 7.45pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Tampines Rovers’ last win against Warriors FC in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League was on 28th June 2013, courtesy of a Jamil Ali strike that gave them a 1-0 victory at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Since that win, the Stags have gone a remarkable eight league and cup matches without beating the team, currently coached by Jorg Steinebrunner.
Now following a frustrating draw 3-3 draw against Geylang International in their first game of the 2016 S.League season, there is extra incentive to prevent that record from being extended.
However, Warriors will also be looking to win their first game of the season and will be buoyed by the fact that they put in a resilient, if not resounding performance against Home United in their opener last Sunday.
“They’ve been excited all season really,” said Warriors fitness coach Scott Starr. “And the guys can’t wait to get onto the pitch again. But this one is another tough game.”
Besides Madhu Mohana who is suspended, the Warriors should have the same squad to select from as for last Sunday’s match against the Protectors.
Jonathan Behe has recovered from the knock that forced his early withdrawal last Sunday evening, but Ismail Yunos and Shaiful Esah are still suffering from their respective calf injuries and will miss out again.
For Tampines, coach V. Sundramoorthy was upbeat about his side’s preparations ahead of Friday’s encounter. “The players came back yesterday and were fine,” he said.
“It’s a long season but Fridays (when live on TV) are always nice, so we’re looking forward to it.”
“We will play according to Warriror’s strengths and weaknesses, but our players have to go out and try to play and win the game as this is the most important thing.”
Considering the three-goal performance of Sundram’s men in their first outing against Geylang International, Warriors’ defensive line could expect a busy night ahead of them.
Fazrul Nawaz and Billy Mehmet will most likely start again up front, with Jordan Webb providing the support in an attack that looks to be capable of scoring plenty of goals this year.
Jermaine Pennant could make his first start of the season and will probably provide the fourth element to an extremely potent attacking line from a wide right position.
Yasir Hanapi and Noh Rahman will miss the game through suspension so Shahdan Sulaiman could move inside to offer the creativity in midfield alongside Izzdin Shafiq, who will probably start again in front of a defence.
Suspensions: Madhu Mohana (Warriors FC), Noh Rahman, Yasir Hanapi (both Tampines Rovers)
Key Men To Watch
Tampines Rovers: Billy Mehmet
Tampines’ final foreign (S.League) signing looks to be an ideal target player for the Stags and appears to complete what is arguably the S.League’s best front line.
Wide players Jordan Webb and Jermaine Pennant seem to have been directed to drift inside and run at defenders when in possession and will no doubt link up menacingly with Mehmet and strike partner Fazrul Nawaz with neat, close combinations – as with Webb’s first goal last Monday.
However, if opposition defences are positioned deep and compact preventing such combination play in front of goal, then any Stags player requiring an simple target in the box now have Mehmet to aim for.
Scoring on his debut from a cross, albeit a low one, indicates that together with Fazrul, Rovers now have ‘double trouble’ for opposing defenders to deal with.
Warriors FC: Hafiz Nor
The lightening quick wide player is going to be a key component in Steinebrunner’s counter-attacking style this season and if Warriors can cause Tampines problems in one department in the match, it will be this one.
Tampines showed last Monday that they will concede goals this year, mainly due to their imperious attacking style and Warriors will be looking to take advantage of this and strike quickly following their defensive duties in deep positions.
Hafiz will no doubt be one of the first targets for his defenders to find when they regain possession.
Warriors FC – LDLLD
14/02/16 Home United 2-2 Warriors FC (S.League)
20/11/15 Geylang International 6-0 Warriors FC (S.League)
20/11/15 Warriors FC 1-3 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
20/11/15 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Warriors FC (S.League)
20/11/15 Warriors FC 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
Tampines Rovers – WWDLD
15/02/16 Tampines Rovers 2-2 Warriors FC (S.League)
27/01/15 Mohun Bagan 3-1 Tampines Rovers (ACL)
21/11/15 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Harimau Muda (S.League)
13/11/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
08/11/15 Home United 2-3 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
Head to Head (S.League)
02/1/15 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Warriors FC (S.League)
07/08/15 Warriors FC 2-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
17/04/15 Tampines Rovers 2-3 Warriors FC (S.League)
23/10/14 Warriors FC 2-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
29/08/14 Warriors FC 2-0 Tampines Rovers (S-League)