Match Previews

Brunei DPMM vs Hougang United: Can home ground provide comfort for Wasps?

S.League | Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium | Saturday 13 May | 8.15pm  

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Brunei DPMM’s return to the only place where they won some games this season

The lowdown

Brunei DPMM Form

  • Warriors FC 1-1 DPMM (S.League)
  • DPMM 1-2 Geylang International (S.League)
  • DPMM 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
  • DPMM 3-1 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
  • DPMM 4-1 Young Lions (S.League)

Hougang United Form

  • Hougang 1-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
  • Home United 3-2 Hougang (S.League)
  • Warriors 0-1 Hougang (S.League)
  • Hougang 3-1 Geylang International (S.League)
  • Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang (S.League)

DPMM once again return home to Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium and there they will hope to earn some reprieve, after a spate of poor results in their last three games yielded them only one point.

If this season has showed anything so far, it is that the reigning champions have developed homesickness. In four outings in Singapore, DPMM have failed to win a single game, including the 1-1 draw with Warriors FC in their last game.

In contrast, all their four wins in this campaign so far have come at Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium.

But the fortress is not what it once used to be. DPMM’s unbeaten home form was ended by Tampines Rovers earlier in the season and despite recording two more wins at the same venue since, they proceeded to lose the last two matches held there.

Interestingly, the home games DPMM lost all ended in 2-1 scorelines.

This suggested that the Wasps are hard to beat at home and this will be something the visiting Hougang United will take note of.

However, Hougang are a force to reckon with this season and they will not back down easily.

Tampines witnessed it for themselves firsthand, especially after a ten-man Cheetahs came from behind to draw 1-1 with the Stags.

Team News

Hougang United defender Wahyudi Wahid will miss this match after receiving a red card in his last game but both Raihan Rahman and Faiz Salleh return from suspension.

On DPMM’s end, nobody is suspended whereas Sairol Sahari is out injured.

Key Battle: Rosmin Kamis vs Jozef Kaplan

Jozef Kaplan will look to lead the line well

They both fulfil different roles on the pitch for their respective clubs, but come Saturday, the captains of both teams will have the same task: to lead the team with distinction.

DPMM are coming off a bad run and their leader Rosmin must ensure his team are not too dispirited. A combative display in midfield should inspire those around him to match him.

The same goes for Kaplan. Hougang have never been viewed as favourites but that perception is starting to change of late.

Young heads might get pressured, while the old heads can get complacent. Kaplan’s job is to make sure none of that happens and that his team-mates stay focused. This is especially essential on the unfamiliar and intimidating territory of DPMM.

The Coaches

K. Balagumaran will not be expected to make much changes, given how his preferred starting eleven are performing. He might however, be tempted to adopt a counter-attacking game due to this being an away fixture.

Steve Kean has nothing but plans to keep a clean sheet, especially after how his side is leaking in the goals.  Already, the Wasps have conceded 15 goals in 11 games.

The two coaches will try to outwit each other once again

But, it is doubtful Kean will instruct his side to sit tight behind at home. There will be a fair amount of attention given to his defence, but the former Blackburn Rovers manager should be instructing his side to go for the kill.

Last Five Meetings

  • Hougang 0-0 DPMM (S.League, Mar’ 16’)
  • Hougang 1-2 DPMM (S.League, Oct’ 15’)
  • DPMM 1-1 Hougang (S.League, July’ 15’)
  • Hougang 1-0 DPMM (League Cup, June’ 15’)
  • Hougang 2-3 DPMM (S.League, April’ 15’)

Facts and Figures

  • Kaplan has not scored yet this season
  • DPMM have never lost at home to Hougang. Hougang lost thrice and drew the other two matches at Hassanal Bolkiah.
  • Both clubs’ top-scorers (DPMM’s Rafael Ramazotti and Hougang’s Stipe Plazibat) have seven goals apiece.
  • This season, most of Hougang’s goals were scored in the last 15 minutes (30.8%)
  • For DPMM, 63.2% of their goals were netted in the second half of their games.

FourFourTwo prediction

Can the Cheetahs grab their first-ever win at Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium? If Hougang can show the same spirit as they did against Tampines, then yes. Brunei DPMM 1 Hougang United 2.