Warriors FC vs Geylang International: Can the hosts make it two in two?

S.League | Choa Chu Kang Stadium | Fri 10 Mar| 7.30pm

Billed as:
The battle of the sleeping giants

THE LOWDOWN:

Week three of the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League kicks off with Warriors FC and Geylang International renewing old rivalries at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Friday evening.

Boasting two of the stronger sides, at least on paper, both teams have been described to be outside bets for the league title this season.

Once the giants of the local league, Warriors and the Eagles have fallen into slumber in recent times, particularly the latter.

Warriors FC clinched the signings of Singapore internationals Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak which has brought a much-needed leadership to their squad.

While they looked unspectacular in their first match of the season, a come-from-behind victory over Balestier Khalsa was an early indication of a newfound resolve in the side.

The Eagles started their campaign with a 2-0 loss to Hougang United, a match in which they were unlucky to not collect any point in.

But they bounced back with a 2-0 win over Balestier Khalsa in their second match. It has to be said though that coach Hasrin Jailani will be expecting far better from his charges, especially when you consider the fact that most of his players are now together for a second consecutive season, a rarity in the domestic scene.

A win for either side in this encounter will give them confidence that this season may finally bring some silverware, which makes this tie one to watch.

TEAM NEWS:

The hosts will have almost a fully fit squad to pick from with the exception of Shaiful Esah who is doubtful for this encounter after sustaining a hamstring injury while celebrating the winner of Balestier.

The club did not confirm if foreign signing Joel Tshibamba is available to play, although his registration appears to have been completed.

For Geylang, defender Anders Aplin who went off injured in the victory over Balestier is still recovering from his neck injury and will sit this one out.

Stanely Ng and Argentine Ricardo Sendra who have yet to see action this season are likely to miss out due to injury once again.

Key Battle: Jordan Webb vs Al-Qaasimy Rahman

Both players will be familiar with one another from their time together with developmental side, the Garena Young Lions but knowing the competitive nature of the duo, especially Al-Qaasimy’s uncompromising approach to defending, expect there to be no love lost when the action gets underway.

Anders’ injury will mean that Al- Qaasimy will have to slot in beside Yuki Ichikawa at the heart of the defence.

The former Singapore Under-23 captain will be kept busy by Webb, who was Warriors’ best player in their opening day victory.

While Webb did start from the left flank, he was often drifting into the middle and his darting runs will ensure that Al-Qaasimy will be kept on his toes.

The winner of this battle could well prove to be the reason for their respective side’s victory.

THE COACHES

Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani has admitted that his side needs to be more clinical this season.

While they have created numerous chances this season, they have spurned just as many.

Hasrin will also want more out of his frontman Victor Coto, who has yet to notch his first goal for the club.

A coach who likes his side to play through the flanks, he would expect Warriors’ full-backs to be kept busy in this encounter.

In the opposition dugout, Warriors coach Razif Onn rallied his side at the half-time break, motivation which proved to be vital as they came back from a goal down.

He would need his side to show more of their fighting ability while expecting his flair players, Webb and Shahril, to make the difference up front.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani has admitted that his side needs to be more clinical this season.

While they have created numerous chances this season, they have spurned just as many.

Hasrin will also want more out of his frontman Victor Coto, who has yet to notch his first goal for the club.

A coach who likes his side to play through the flanks, he would expect Warriors’ full-backs to be kept busy in this encounter.

In the opposition dugout, Warriors coach Razif Onn rallied his side at the half-time break, motivation which proved to be vital as they came back from a goal down.

He would need his side to show more of their fighting ability while expecting his flair players, Webb and Shahril, to make the difference up front.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • A host of former Eagles will line up against their former teams with Hafiz Osman, Ridhuan Muhammad, Baihakki Khaizan and Kento Fukuda all once donning the famous Green and White hooped kit

  • In their last five matches against each other, the Warriors have only conjured up one victory, a  2-0 victory in the league last season.

FOURFOURTWO PREDICTION

Warriors 2-2 Geylang International. Both sides did not look stable at the back in their opening games and it is hard to imagine either side getting a clean sheet in this match. Expect goals and ultimately a draw in this one.

Credits: www.fourfourtwo.com
Photos: S.League