Geylang International vs Home United: Will Protectors finally earn a win?

League Cup | Bedok Stadium | Mon 18 Jul | 7.30pm

Billed as

Geylang Form

  • Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Geylang (League Cup)
  • Geylang 2-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (Singapore Cup)
  • Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Geylang (Singapore Cup)
  • Home 1-2 Geylang (S.League)
  • Geylang 1-2 Hougang United (S.League)

Home Form

  • Home 0-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (League Cup)
  • Home 2-2 Balestier Khalsa (Singapore Cup)
  • Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Home (Singapore Cup)
  • Home 1-2 Geylang International (S.League)
  • Albirex Niigata (S) 5-2 Home (S.League)

Battle of the weakened sides.

The lowdown

Home United are in the doldrums and their season is about to get bleaker if they do not get a win soon.

The Protectors are winless in seven games and losing several key players to international duty has not helped their pursuit of glory.

The League Cup is the last and only trophy Home can hope to win this season, but for that to happen coach Philippe Aw needs to turn things around fast.

In the last match, Home showed some mettle when they came up against a full-strength Albirex Niigata (S), though they eventually bowed out 2-0 to the league leaders.

That should give them some belief they can actually earn a result against Geylang International, who did superbly well to overcome a two-goal deficit and gain a point against Balestier Khalsa.

Geylang similarly have been hit by the international call-ups and it showed in the game against the Tigers. However, their newest foreign acquisition, Mark Hartmann, has taken to life in the S.League like a fish to the water as he scored his third goal in as many games.

The Eagles will be determined to do well too, as the League Cup will be their last chance of earning silverware after they were knocked out of the Singapore Cup by Albirex.

Ironically, the last time Geylang earned a win came against Home and they will be hoping this proves to be the case again as they aim to halt a run of three games without victories.

Geylang's defensive frailties have been exposed of late

Team News

Last Five Meetings

  • Home 1-2 Geylang (S.League, Jun ’16)
  • Geylang 2-2 Home (S.League, Apr ’16)
  • Geylang 2-1 Home (S.League, Oct ’15)
  • Home 0-1 Geylang (S.League, May ’15)
  • Geylang 1-1 Home (S.League, Mar ’15)

Things may just have gotten worse for Home, after the Football Association of Singapore announced that it was hosting the Under-21 International Challenge Cup. 

This means more Home players could be called up for international duties.

In addition, Sirina Camara and Faris Ramli look nowhere near a return to first-team action.

However, Song Ui-young is in line for a return to the starting 11 and that should boost the Protectors.

Shawal Anuar did not start for the Eagles in the game against Balestier as he was on medical leave days prior, but he was promising when he came on as a substitute.

The forward combined well with Mark Hartmann when the two of them played together and coach Hasrin Jailani will be tempted to start him.

Key Battle: Mark Hartmann vs Juma’at Jantan

Hartmann was a class act against Balestier as he led an understrength Geylang admirably and gave the Tigers a hard time.

He scored two superb goals – the second being a screamer from 35 yards – and Home need to keep a look out for him.

In defence, Juma’at is expected to play and he will have to lead the backline in keeping the roaming Hartmann quiet.

Hartmann is quickly developing into a leader at Geylang

The Coaches

Philippe Aw will have to throw several youngsters into the fray but this should not deter him, after all, the Protectors pride themselves on having a good youth programme.

Hasrin Jailani, on the other hand, will be keeping a close eye on his side’s defence, after they conceded two goals from set-pieces against Balestier.

He has asserted that working on eliminating such blunders will be the focal point of training leading up to the clash, and he will want to see marked improvements from his charges.

Facts and Figures

  • Home have the better head-to-head record here, winning a total of 29 games in 39 meetings. Geylang have only beaten the Protectors six times.
  • But it has been two years since Home recorded a victory over Geylang. Home’s last win over the Eagles came in May, 2014, when they dealt Geylang a 1-4 defeat at Bedok Stadium.
  • Most of Geylang goals (45.5%) have  come in the last 15 minutes of a game
  • Home have not kept a clean sheet in eight games, while Geylang have been unable to do so in 15 games.

FourFourTwo prediction

This is a tough call but Home should be able to squeeze out a 1-1 draw here.  

Photos: S.League