Tampines Rovers vs. Warriors FC: Can Pennant-less Tampines beat Warriors?

S.League | Jurong West Stadium | Saturday 30 Apr | 7:45 PM 

Billed As:

Tampines Rovers to show that they can live without Jermaine Pennant.

The lowdown:

Tampines and Warriors FC have had a respectable season so far, but with the squad they both possess, it is time they finally unleash their full potential.

Tampines form

  • Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Tampines (S.League)
  • Ceres La Salle 2-1 Tampines (AFC Cup)
  • Tampines 1-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
  • Garena Young Lions 1-2 Tampines (S.League)
  • Brunei DPMM 1-1 Tampines (S.League)

Warriors form

  • Home United 2-1 Warriors FC  (S.League)
  • Warriors 0-1 Hougang United (S.League)
  • Geylang International 2-2 Warriors (S.League)
  • Warriors 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
  • Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors (S.League)

Although Tampines are second in the table, their performances could be better. They might have to do without Jermaine Pennant though, who is doubtful for the tie.

But Tampines will still pack a formidable outfit, with former Warriors player Fazrul Nawaz in their ranks. However, they seem to lack a cutting edge this season while the final third has been a letdown at times for V. Sundramoorthy’s side.

Going into the final two thirds of the season, it will be interesting to see if Tampines can finally show their true potential.

Their arch-rivals, Warriors, have problems at the other side of the pitch and their defensive unit needs to be shored up.

In the scoring department, it has flowed well thanks to new signing Jonathan Behe from SC Le Las, who has seven goals in eight games but the Warriors have conceded 11 in seven games.

Their centre-backs, Madhu Mohana and Kento Fukuda, on their day, can be exceptional players. But in order to improve their current form, these two stalwarts have to work even better as an unit.

The Stags come into this game after travelling to Bangladesh to face Lt Sheikh Jamal DC in an AFC Cup game that they lost 3-2.

But the Warriors too are coming into this game on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Home United in the Uniformed Derby last week and both teams will be hungry to return to winning ways.

Team News:

Not very good news for Tampines fans’, with Jordan Webb and more importantly, Jermaine Pennant, supposedly doubtful for the game.

Warriors duo Shaiful Esah and Ismail Yunos are unlikely to be available as well due to injury.

Key Battle: Jonathan Behe vs. Afiq Yunos

Can Afiq hold Behe at bay?

Jonathan Behe has scored seven goals in eight for the Warriors and is in fine form in front of goal.

Afiq Yunos will definitely be tested by the pacy dribbler. Afiq is no slouch himself and he will want to keep Behe quiet.

The Coaches:

V. Sundramoorthy was the ‘Dazzler’ in his heydays as a player and if Tampines are  to weave some flair into their play, Sundram can definitely be counted upon to make that happen.

Having tasted defeat in Bangladesh, Sundram will definitely set his side to go all guns blazing against Jorg Steinbrunner’s side as they look to hang onto league leaders Albirex’s tail.

Steinebrunner has a Warriors side that is still looking for a win in April after two losses and a draw.

Both managers brought in some astute signings and it will be interesting to see which of these players will step up and make the difference at the Jurong West Stadium.

Past five meetings

  • Tampines Rovers 0-0 Warriors (S.League 15’)
  • Warriors 2-1 Tampines Rovers (League Cup 15’)
  • Warriors 1-0 Tampines Rovers (League Cup 15’)
  • Tampines Rovers 2-3 Warriors (S.League 15’)
  • Warriors 2-1 Tampines Rovers (S. League 14’)

Facts and Figures:

  • Warriors are yet to win in the month of April
  • Tampines have yet to win a game against Warriors since June 2013 (eight games)
  • Jonathan Behe is the league’s second top scorer with seven
  • Warriors have a record of 18 wins over Tampines, while seven matches have ended in draws. Tampines have 13 wins over the Warriors.

FourFourTwo prediction:

A 2-1 win to Tampines. The Stags  want to maintain their league position high in the table and should be going all out for this game.