Geylang International vs Brunei DPMM: Eagles’ top-three aspirations on the line
Geylang International Form
- Tampines Rovers 2-1 Geylang (S.League)
- Hougang United 1-2 Geylang (League Cup Plate Final)
- Geylang 1-0 Warriors FC (League Cup Plate SF)
- Geylang 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (League Cup)
- Geylang 0-5 Home United (League Cup)
Brunei DPMM Form
- DPMM 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
- DPMM 0-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (League Cup Final)
- DPMM 1-0 Home United (League Cup SF)
- DPMM 2-1 Tampines Rovers (League Cup)
- Hougang United 0-2 DPMM (League Cup)
It is at a rung lower where the contest is heating up between four teams (or possibly five if Warriors FC can somehow pick up their form) for the chase for the third spot.
Home United and DPMM are on 25 points, Hougang United are on 22 while Geylang are on 21. It is especially crucial for the three local teams involved to achieve a top-three finish as it may qualify them for the AFC Cup.
Should the Singapore Cup go to a foreign team, the second-best placed local side in the league will represent the Republic in the continental club competition.
So there is still all to fight for in the seven remaining rounds of the season, with Geylang out to make up for the current four-point deficit.
The Eagles are arguably in rather good shape now after a decent run in the League Cup resulted in them emerging as Plate Champions.
In last week’s ‘Eastern Derby’, the Bedok-based side had threatened Tampines on a number of occasions and was perhaps unlucky to be edged out 2-1.
That can be said of their opponents DPMM too, with the Wasps gradually getting into their groove with just one defeat in their last seven matches in all competitions after a slow start to the year.
A week ago, they managed to upset leaders Albirex 2-1 at their Hassanal Bolkiah home and avenged their recent defeat to the White Swans in the League Cup final.
Having attained a first win over Albirex this year, they will now be looking to set the record straight against Geylang – having not won in both head-to-head encounters so far in 2016.
Geylang will be missing full-back Al-Qaasimy Rahman, who has to serve out a one-match suspension for accumulating seven yellow cards, while versatile forward Amy Recha continues to miss out due to reservist duties.
It also remains to be seen if playmaker Carlos Delgado is available after missing the last couple of matches due to injury.
As for DPMM, they will be without key man Paulo Sergio with the former Sporting Lisbon trainee serving out the second of his two-match suspension for a disciplinary case.
Key Battle: Daniel Bennett vs Adi Said
Without Sergio, much of DPMM’s attacks will go through the revitalised Adi. The 26-year-old has been in sparkling form lately, ousting the more heralded Azwan Ali from the line-up with a series of all-action displays.
He should come up against an experienced figure in Bennett, who has forced his way back into the Singapore national team with his sturdy performances at the back for Geylang.
The 38-year-old will surely have a point to prove, after being dropped from the starting eleven against Tampines.
It will be interesting to see what kind of team Hasrin Jailani put out for Geylang.
Against Tampines, he chose to keep faith with the team that won the League Cup Plate competition and leave out the likes of Bennett, Faritz Hameed, Gabriel Quak and Sahil Suhaimi – a decision that kind of backfired.
Bennett, Quak and Sahil came on at half time and changed the complexion of the game completely – something which will give the former Singapore international much food for thought.
Meanwhile DPMM counterpart Steve Kean will be likely to stick to his tried-and-trusted line-up, with Rosmin Kamis, Yura Indera Putera and Brian McLean making up a three-man backline.
Last Five Meetings
- DPMM 1-2 Geylang (S.League, Apr ’16)
- Geylang 1-1 DPMM (S.League, Feb ’16)
- Geylang 2-1 DPMM (S.League, Nov ‘16)
- DPMM 3-1 Geylang (S.League, Aug ‘16)
- Geylang 4-2 DPMM (League Cup, Jul ’15)
Facts and Figures
- DPMM have yet to win in their last two visits to Bedok Stadium – drawing 1-1 this February and losing 2-1 last November.
- DPMM have hit the woodwork ten times – second-highest in the league behind Albirex (16).
- DPMM have conceded 25 goals inside the box – second-highest in the league behind Garena Young Lions (36).
- Geylang have scored the most goals from outside the box in the league this season with five.
Always plenty of goals between these two sides and we see that continuing. A 2-2 draw with Geylang scoring the equaliser.