Singapore Premier League • February 24, 2014
Vallee Wary of Razip’s Youthful Tigers
Harimau Muda vs Tanjong Pagar
(February 24, Monday, 8.45 pm, Pasir Gudang Stadium)
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
2013 RHB Singapore Cup finalist Tanjong Pagar United will travel to Pasir Gudang to take on Harimau Muda in their opening game of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season. .
The Jaguars hugely improved under Patrick Vallee’s tutelage and finished sixth last year, and will be a force for Harimau Muda to reckon with.
Tanjong Pagar have retained marquee player Monsef Zerka and added several new faces to their squad this season.
With Aurelien Herisson, Anthony Aymard, Kamel Ramdani and Zerka staying put, midfielder Sebastien Etiemble replaces the outgoing Ismael Benahmed as he completes the foreign-quota roster at Queenstown.
For Vallee, he is treading with caution as he believes the youthful Harimau Muda players will be eager to prove their worth and make their mark in the league.
“They are a young team and very energetic. It won’t be an easy game for us. This is just the first game and of course we will be looking for the win. But the season is long, a win in the first few matches does not mean you will be champions,” expressed Vallee
“I don’t really think about winning. If we focus on our performance and play as a team, I am sure we can win the match.”
The Jaguars will be without midfielders Ahmad Latiff who is out for another month after undergoing a double knee operation and Sazali Salleh who has yet to regain full fitness.
Even though the Young Tigers only finished above Courts Young Lions in the league last season, it will be hard to predict how they will perform this season with the wholesale changes made to the squad.
Twenty players have joined up with the squad, and they are untested in the S.League and will need to quickly adapt to the league as soon as possible.
While Harimau Muda have managed to retain the services of coach Razip Ismail, they have lost skipper Nashriq Yahya as well as starlets Maxsius Musa and Azzizan Nordin.
Harimau Muda – DDLLD
5/11/13 Warriors 1-1 Harimau Muda B
31/10/13 Harimau Muda B 2-2 Brunei DPMM
27/10/13 Harimau Muda B 0-3 Courts Young Lions
24/10/13 Hougang United 4-1 Harimau Muda B
26/9/13 Harimau Muda B 2-2 Geylang International
Tanjong Pagar United – LLLDD
8/11/13 Home United 4-1 Tanjong Pagar (RHB Singapore Cup)
4/11/13 Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Balestier Khalsa
30/10/13 Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Home United
26/10/13 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Tanjong Pagar
18/10/13 Woodlands Wellington 2-2 Tanjong Pagar
Head to Head (S.League)
14/5/13 Harimau Muda 3-0 Tanjong Pagar
5/3/13 Tanjong Pagar United 1- 1 Harimau Muda
13/7/12 Tanjong Pagar United 0-2 Harimau Muda
2/3/12 Harimau Muda 3-0 Tanjong Pagar