Match Previews

Geylang International vs Warriors FC: Are the Warriors slumping?

S.League | Jalan Besar Stadium | Sat 17 | 8.30pm

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Billed as:

Warriors’ chance to keep pace with the top.

The Lowdown:

Geylang International Form

  • Geylang 2 - 0 DPMM (S.League)
  • Home United 3 - 0 Geylang (S.League)
  • Geylang 0 - 1 Albirex Niigata S (S.League)
  • Geylang 1 - 1 Hougang United (S.League)
  • Balestier Khalsa 0 - 1 Geylang (S.League)

Warriors FC Form

  • Warriors 2 - 2 Home United (S.League)
  • Albirex Niigata S 4 - 2 Warriors (S.League)

  • Warriors 0 - 2 Hougang United (S.League)

  • Warriors 1 - 0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)

  • Warriors 1 - 4 Boeung Ket (Singapore Cup)

The S.League will resume this week and Warriors FC will take on Geylang International at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

Warriors actually looked pretty decent at the start of the season, going six games unbeaten. Sadly, the nine-time S.League champions failed to maintain their positive start, going on to lose three of the next four games they played in.

This has resulted in their exit from the Singapore Cup, after an embarrassing 4-1 defeat by Boeung Ket. The losses also meant Warriors are now 11 points off the pace, although they do have a game in hand against the three teams above them.

While a win here will still mean an eight-point gap with league leaders Albirex Niigata (S), it will still mean Warriors are within a single digit of the leading team.

However, victory is not assured, especially against a decent Geylang International side. The Eagles did not recruit aggressively during the off-season but are still putting up a tough fight in the S.League.

While a title challenge is beyond the Eagles, they can still target for third spot, with Warriors and Tampines Rovers only three and seven points ahead of them respectively.

Unlike the Warriors, who come in after the demoralising loss to Boeung Ket, Geylang will come into this game brimming with confidence after a 1-0 win over Balestier Khalsa.

Tshibamba has reportedly left Warriors

Team News:

Warriors have released striker Joel Tshibamba and are still on the lookout for a replacement.

Geylang had several players called up by V.Sundramoorthy, but only Safirul Sulaiman and Faritz Hameed featured.

Winger Gabriel Quak should be fit and raring to go after failing to see any action during the international break.

Key Battle: Shahril Ishak vs Isa Halim

Warriors should be counting upon Shahril for the goals, now that they have released Joel Tshibamba.

The midfielder has been in fine form so far but he will not find it easy against former international teammate Isa Halim.

The Geylang captain does not yield space easily and his crunching tackles will be something Shahril have to look out for when he ventures forward.

Isa will be looking to shackle Shahril

The Coaches:

Razif Onn has a selection dilemma on his hands but he will need to work out fast who else can he rely upon for the goals.

The Warriors coach too needs to figure out what to do with his defence, especially after they let in four goals in their last game. 

Hasrin Jailani has been quietly going about his job at Bedok Stadium but he too will need to ponder over some squad rotation, given that the Eagles have an important game coming up against Global Cebu five days later.

Past five meetings

  • Warriors 1 - 1 Geylang (S.League, Mar ‘17)
  • Geylang 2 - 1 Warriors (S.League, Oct ‘16)
  • Geylang 1 - 0 Warriors (League Cup, July ‘16)
  • Warriors 2 - 0 Geylang (S.League, Jun ‘16)
  • Geylang 2 - 1 Warriors (Singapore Cup, May ‘16)

Facts and figures: 

  • Warriors will hope to beat their bogey team of late, with Geylang taking five wins in the last nine encounters between both sides. Warriors have only won once.

  • Geylang had a mixed league record at the Jalan Besar Stadium last season, with two wins (both against the Garena Young Lions), two draws and one loss (against eventual champions Albirex Niigata).

  • Warriors have already conceded 20 goals in 10 games this season.

  • The Eagles on the other hand have problems scoring,  putting in only nine goals from ten games.

FourFourTwo’s prediction:

Based on current form, Geylang might just be able to inflict defeat onto their opponents. Geylang to eke this 2-1.

Photos: S.League