Singapore Premier League • June 11, 2014

Warriors Out For Revenge Against Tigers


Warriors FC vs Balestier Khalsa

(June 12, Thursday, 7.30pm, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)

Written by: Kenneth Ho

Warriors FC will have revenge on their minds when they host Balestier Khalsa at Choa Chu Kang Stadium as they look to avenge their RHB Singapore Cup loss against Marko Kraljevic’s charges.

Slightly over two weeks ago, Balestier put in a solid defensive showing to dump Warriors out of the Singapore Cup in the Preliminary Round as they ran out 3-1 winners at the same venue.

However, it might not be the same this time round with Warriors chasing for the league title and they know they can ill-afford to slip up as they aim to catch leaders Brunei DPMM who are just a point ahead.

That said, the Warriors will have to do this without their dynamic duo of Nicholas Velez and Miroslav Pejic, who both are suspended. The duo have been clinical upfront, and it will be hard to see where the goals will be coming from this time round.

Hafiz Rahim should be starting up front as the lone striker in this case, with Hafsyar Farkhan coming into the side to flank the former. However, Hafiz only has three goals to his name all season, while Hafsyar has failed to open his account after being given limited time to perform.

Balestier meanwhile will similarly be gunning for three points to continue their climb into the top half of the standings, where they have finished for the past two seasons.

They will miss captain Paul Cunningham who is still recovering from a knee operation but have received a timely boost in the form of playmaker Park Kang Jin’s recent return to the form.

The South Korean scored the all-decisive third goal against Warriors to seal the win for the Tigers. His passing ability which had coach Marko Kraljevic raving about during his absence, could well make the difference here.

Suspensions: Nicholas Velez, Miroslav Pejic (Warriors FC); Ruhaizad Ismail (Balestier Khalsa).

Key Men To Watch

Warriors FC: Hafsyar Farkhan

The problem  Warriors are facing right now would be a source of goals, and Hafsyar could prove to be the key here.

The midfielder has only made 12 appearances all season, with 11 coming from being a substitute. This equates to something that statistic will not be able to account for, and that is motivation.

This is the Hafsyar could be thrust to cover a more attacking role and it might be the best chance of staking his claim for a regular spot in the starting line-up, and his motivation to do so might see him perform exceedingly well here.

Balestier Khalsa: Goran Ljubojevic

Balestier have been handed a easier game, as Velez and Pejic sit out this game. With the duo out of the picture, the Tigers might have easier time defending against their opponents.

That should give them the impetus to attack Warriors, and replicate their 3-1 win against the same opponents just a week ago. Ljubojevic is the main striker at Balestier and his ability to score should not be frowned upon.

With Park and Kim Minho supporting him, the Croatian should have ample opportunities to hit the Warriors where it hurts.

Warriors FC – LWLWW

8/6/14      Hougang United 3-2 Warriors FC

5/6/14      Harimau Muda 2-4 Warriors FC

27/5/14    Warriors FC 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (RHB Singapore Cup)

22/5/14    Warriors FC 1-0 Brunei DPMM

16/5/14    Geylang International 0-1 Warriors FC

Balestier Khalsa – DWWLW

8/6/14      Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

4/6/14      Tanjong Pagar United 0-3 Balestier Khalsa

27/5/14    Warriors FC 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (RHB Singapore Cup)

21/5/14    Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Woodlands Wellington

15/5/14    Balestier Khalsa 3-1 Courts Young Lions

Head to Head (S.League)

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

3/7/13      Warriors FC 1-1 Balestier Khalsa

24/3/13    Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Warriors FC

20/9/12    Warriors FC 0-0 Balestier Khalsa

12/4/12    Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Warriors FC

14/9/11    Balestier Khalsa 1-3 Warriors FC

1/6/11      Warriors FC 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

17/3/11    Balestier Khalsa 0-2 Warriors FC