S.League | Jalan Besar Stadium | Friday 1 April | 7.45 pm
Geylang International’s chance to end a series of draws in the league.
The last time Warriors FC played Geylang, the Eagles drubbed them 6-0 in the final game of the season at Bedok Stadium.
But no one should expect a similar affair occurring again, as that was a freak result and the Warriors are a vastly different side now.
Geylang Intl Form
- Geylang International 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
- Geylang International 0-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
- Young Lions 0-2 Geylang International (S.League)
- Geylang 1-1 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
- Tampines Rovers 3-3 Geylang (S.League)
Warriors FC Form
- Warriors 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
- Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors
- Warriors 2-0 Young Lions
- Brunei DPMM 3-1 Warriors
- Home United 2-2 Warriors
The uniformed giants endured a frustrating start to the season but they will go into this game brimming with confidence after dispatching Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0.Against Geylang, Warriors’ main concern would be how they are going to break down their opponents’ defence.
The Eagles have one of the meanest defence around and their goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari has kept three clean sheets in a rows. This is a huge reason why they are unbeaten in the league still.
However, Jonathan Behe has not found a goalkeeper who can shut him out yet and he has scored a goal in all the five games he has played so far.
Geylang are struggling for goals on the other hand, after drawing blanks in their last two games.
Branko Cubrilo has only scored one goal so far and he will be looking to increase his tally.
Warriors’ Shaiful Esah might miss out on this game after he suffered a knock on international duty. The defender was replaced by Christopher Van Huizen for the 23-man squad that flew to Tehran, Iran to take on Afghanistan.
Geylang should have a full squad to pick from as the players who were called up for international duties reported back without any injury complaints.
Key Battle: Syazwan Buhari vs Nikola Rak
All eyes will be on Behe but that could prove to be a mistake as Nikola Rak can be a threat too.
The midfielder has shown quick feet when trying to play his way out of trouble and he could be the key to unlocking Geylang’s superb defence, which is marshalled by Daniel Bennett.
Syazwan will need to be on his toes in this fixture, or he might not be able to earn another consecutive clean sheet.
Last Five meetings
- Geylang 6-0 Warriors (S.League, Nov '15)
- Warriors 1-1 Geylang (S.League, Aug '15)
- Geylang 3-1 Warriors (S.League, May '15)
- Warriors 0-4 Geylang (League Cup July ‘14)
- Geylang 0-1 Warriors (S.League, May '14)
The Geylang coach, Jorg Steinebrunner, who engineered the 6-0 trouncing will now turn nemesis, as he seeks to mastermind a similar effort on the opposite bench at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.
Whatever feelings he has for the Eagles though, will be brushed aside as he intends to remain professional and get the maximum points.
Hasrin Jailani has so far been patient with his side’s inability to put away chances but he knows that this cannot continue for much longer.
However, he might be tempted to maintain the same tactics that have helped his side remain unbeaten as the Warriors are no easy opponents.
Hasrin will have no part to play in this fixture though, as he serves a touchline ban.
Facts and Figures
Geylang have fired blanks in their last two matches.
Geylang run the risk of being ‘draw specialists’, with four stalemates in their last five games.
The Warriors have found it difficult to beat Geylang of late, with only one win in their last five meeting.
The Eagles are the only team besides Tampines Rovers to remain unbeaten in the league.
Jorg Steinebrunner has a stellar record at the Jalan Besar Stadium, with only one loss in his previous 10 games at that venue with former club Geylang and current employers Warriors.
Geylang International 2-1 Warriors FC. It’s high time the Eagles found their scoring boots and fulfilled their potential and I suspect they will do so in this fixture.