Singapore Premier League • April 24, 2014

The Pressure on Warriors Against Young Lions


Courts Young Lions vs Warriors FC

(April 24, Thursday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Written by : Khalis Rifhan

Fresh from their first three points of the 2014 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League campaign, Courts Young Lions will be cautious when they welcome the visit of Warriors FC to Jalan Besar Stadium.

While confidence may be high in Aide Iskandar’s camp following their hard-fought win over Harimau Muda, Warriors are a different class altogether as compared to their previous opponents.

Warriors are on a roll this season as they blitzed past their challenges with ease in recent weeks. Most recently, they put four goals unanswered past Albirex Niigata (S) in the previous round of matches.

The pressure is surprisingly on Warriors as their coach Alex Weaver have said that their impressive showing against the Japanese outfit counts for nothing if his side fails to register a win against Aide’s charges.

The Englishman was at Pasir Gudang Stadium a week ago for the Young Lions’ match and he must have taken down valuable notes and will be wary of their threats.

In the absence of captain Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Young Lions’ M. Anumanthan has adapted well in his new role in the centre of defence. Another player to look out for in the Singapore developmental side is 22-year-old Stanely Ng who displayed a high level of confidence in midfield.

Looking to dislodge the Young Lions’ defence will be Warriors lethal duo of Miroslav Pejic and Nicholaz Velez, who both have seven and five goals respectively so far.

While the limelight is mostly on the foreign duo, some of the pillars in Warriors squad this year are Jeremy Chiang and Zulfadli Zainal who have been effective on the right and left side of defence.

While their priority are their defensive duties, Chiang and Zulfadli provide Weaver with an extra attacking option down the flanks with their occasional overlapping runs into the final third and packs a punch with their crosses at the same time.

Suspensions: Shi Jiayi (Warriors); Sheikh Abdul Hadi and Ammirul Emmran (Courts Young Lions)

Key Men To Watch

Courts Young Lions: Sahil Suhaimi

Sahil, who took over the captain’s armband, earned coach Aide’s praise for his performance and astute leadership against Harimau.

Six shots on target and a goal to his name, Sahil showed his desire and determination to give his all for this team. Despite his small build, the 22-year-old displayed strength in shielding the ball from the opponents and won 40% of the challenges in attack.

Warriors FC: Nicholas Velez

According to Instat, the Argentine was the best player in Week 8, notching up an Instat index of 257. Velez was helped by his above-average rate of 63% shooting accuracy, with four of those finding the back of the net.

Velez has formed a telepathic partnership with Hafiz Rahim and Pejic in the final third and that explains Velez 86% passing accuracy. The trio have a tendency of displaying slick interchangeable passes which sends the opponents defence in disarray.

Courts Young Lions – WLLLL

20/4/14    Harimau Muda 2-3 Courts Young Lions

10/4/14    Courts Young Lions 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)

6/4/14      Brunei DPMM 6-1 Courts Young Lions

26/3/14    Courts Young Lions 2-3 Tanjong Pagar United

20/3/14    Geylang International 1-0 Courts Young Lions

Warriors FC – WWDWW

16/4/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 0-4 Warriors FC

10/4/14    Tanjong Pagar 1-1 Warriors FC

3/4/14      Warriors FC 1-0 Woodlands Wellington

28/3/14    Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Warriors FC

20/3/14    Warriors FC 2-0 Hougang United

Head to Head (S.League)

31/10/13  Courts Young Lions 2-1 Warriors FC

20/7/13    Courts Young Lions 0-0 Warriors FC

28/3/13    Warriors FC 3-0 Courts Young Lions

22/7/12    Courts Young Lions 2-1 Warriors FC

16/3/12    Warriors FC 4-3 Courts Young Lions

25/10/11  Warriors FC 3-0 Courts Young Lions

7/8/11       Warriors FC 3-0 Courts Young Lions

12/2/11     Courts Young Lions 0-2 Warriors FC