Singapore Premier League • March 20, 2014
Weaver and Beattie welcome former club; Erwan returns to Warriors Arena
Warriors FC vs Hougang United
(March 20, Thursday, 7.30pm, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)
Written by: Kenneth Ho
Hougang United travel to Choa Chu Kang Stadium to face Warriors FC where they will look to keep their good run of form going after gaining seven points from three games so far.
Hougang winger Fazli Jaffar has been an instrumental figure so far, laying three assists and scoring one goal, while upfront the Cheetahs’ strikers have opened their accounts for the season and to boost their confidence levels.
Meanwhile, Alex Weaver’s side fell to Brunei DPMM 2-0 but have since rebounded from that loss with a 3-0 victory over Harimau Muda.
Weaver and Warriors midfielder Thomas Beattie will be up against their former club and given their familiarity with Hougang, the Warriors can tap on that to exploit any weaknesses the visitors might have.
Warriors should see the return of Marin Vidosevic after the defender missed his side’s last match against Harimau due to injury, and he is likely to regain his spot alongside skipper Daniel Bennett in the heart of defence. This should be a key factor in this game.
“These guys have been great and cope well since pre-season. It was tough with injuries but they showed their strength. We lost the second match but we got the momentum going again with the win (against Harimau Muda) and get it back on track,” said Bennett after their victory over the Malaysian outfit.
Hougang possesses a decent squad and what has won them games is the determination to not lose. This has allowed them to pressure their opponents into committing mistakes, and the Cheetahs have duly capitalised on the errors to score goals.
However, mistakes in these game should be few and far between with the 36-year-old Bennett leading the backline. The ex-Singapore international will be up against his former teammate, Erwan Gunawan who spent four years at Warriors before switching to the Cheetahs for this campaign.
It will be a battle of two in-form teams who are seeking to continue their fine run in the league but if statistics are to determine the outcome, it favours the eight-time S.League champions who have won five out of their previous eight league meetings with the Cheetahs enjoying a win over Warriors in 2011.
Key Men To Watch
Warriors FC: Daniel Bennett
The former Lions has been capped over 100 times for his country as well as playing in many more games at club level.
With the Cheetahs likely to play a pressing game throughout the 90 minutes, Bennett’s experience in calmly distributing the ball away will be vital to prevent his side from losing the ball in dangerous areas.
Bennett’s leadership on the field may have been questioned by some quarters but he has proved that age is no barrier and his experience will come in handy against Hougang.
Hougang United: Geison Moura
The striker has been brought in to score the goals and he has been doing his job. The Brazilian’s ability to strike the ball sweetly makes him a danger from distance and he might just be the man to propel Hougang to victory over Warriors.
Moura is not only active in the attacking third but also in his own half, constantly dropping deep to assist in defensive duties.
Warriors FC – WLWDL
12/3/14 Warriors FC 3-0 Harimau Muda
28/2/14 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Warriors FC
23/2/14 Warriors 2-1 Geylang International
5/11/13 Warriors 1-1 Harimau Muda
31/10/13 Courts Young Lions 2-1 Warriors
Hougang United – WWDLW
12/3/14 Hougang United 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
27/2/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-2 Hougang United
22/2/14 Hougang United 2-2 Woodlands Wellington
5/11/13 Courts Young Lions 2-0 Hougang United
29/10/13 Hougang United 4-1 Geylang International
Head to Head (S.League)
25/9/13 Warriors FC 1-1 Hougang United
22/8/13 Hougang United 1-2 Warriors FC
21/4/13 Warriors FC 4-2 Hougang United
29/9/12 Hougang United 2-2 Warriors FC
22/4/12 Warriors FC 1-0 Hougang United
19/10/11 Hougang United 1-3 Warriors FC
10/7/11 Warriors FC 0-1 Hougang United
15/4/11 Hougang United 1-2 Warriors FC