News • July 5, 2017

The New Paper League Cup 2017: Protectors Quietly Confident Of Success


The New Paper League Cup 2017 (Group A)

Warriors FC vs Home United

(7 July, Friday, 7.30pm, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)

Written by: Shawn Lim

Home United will kick-start their The New Paper League Cup Group A campaign against Warriors FC at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Friday night, as they hope to finally taste success in this competition.

The Protectors – who are in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone Final – have lost only once in their last five matches in all competitions as they lie second in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League, just two points off leaders Albirex Niigata (S) after 13 games played.

Head coach Aidil Sharin has however preached caution ahead of their League Cup opener against their traditional arch-rivals.

“I think it is still too early to say if we can reach the final or even win the cup, just based on our current form,” explained Aidil, whose team have yet to win the League Cup since the competition’s inauguration in 2007.

“We will see in the group stage first because we plan to take one game at a time. We are definitely not thinking of winning the cup at the moment because we are focused on getting out of the group stage first.”

Apart from Warriors, the Bishan-based club will face League Cup defending champions Albirex and the ever-improving Hougang United in Group A, which has been dubbed as the “Group of Death”.

While many onlookers have tipped Albirex and Home to be favourites to progress from the group, Aidil has refused to speculate on how he sees the group finishing.

“In football, anything can happen, all the teams are good enough and have the quality to beat the other,” Aidil said.

“So let’s not predict where we stand before the competition starts and as I previously said, we are focused on taking one game at a time.”

With a busy schedule over the course of July and August where Home will play in the League Cup, S.League and AFC Cup, Aidil has revealed that he has promoted five Prime League players to the first team for the League Cup.

“I will bring these Prime League players into the first team for this competition and will manage the rest of the players carefully before the AFC Cup,” said the former Singapore international.

“However, it depends on who the exact players are because they going to have Prime League matches two days before this. So if they are tired or injured, I will have to change my plans again.”

Home will have no suspension to worry about, but will miss captain Hassan Sunny, Song Uiyoung and Aqhari Abdullah through injury. For Warriors, goalkeeper Zainol Gulam is a doubt after picking up a knock in their last game against Brunei DPMM, but will also have no major injury concerns.

Warriors FC – LWLDW

02/07/17  Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM

28/06/17  Garena Young Lions 0-0 Warriors FC

22/06/17  Warriors FC 0-1 Tampines Rovers

16/06/17  Geylang International 0-2 Warriors FC

29/05/17  Warriors FC 1-4 Boeung Ket FC (CAM) (RHB Singapore Cup)

Home United – WWWLW

03/07/17  Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Home United

30/06/17  Home United 2-3 Hougang United

23/06/17  Albirex Niigata (S) 0-2 Home United

30/05/17  Home United 3-2 Global Cebu FC (AFC Cup)

25/05/17  Home United 9-3 Brunei DPMM