Tampines Rovers vs Brunei DPMM: Can DPMM salvage season with the League Cup?
An opportunity for DPMM to paper over the cracks of their lacklustre season by challenging for a trophy.
- Warriors 1-0 DPMM (S.League)
- Albirex 4-0 DPMM (S.League)
- Home United 9-3 DPMM (S.League)
- Young Lions 0-0 DPMM (S.League)
- DPMM 0-1 Tampines (S.League)
- Tampines 1-1 Geylang (S.League)
- Warriors 0-1 Tampines (S.League)
- Tampines 3-1 Balestier (S.League)
- Hougang 0-3 Tampines (S.League)
- Tampines 1-4 Albirex (S.League)
On Saturday at Jalan Besar Stadium, it will be a tale of two giants. Tampines Rovers are challenging in the S.League for the title and will be heading to the league cup fixture against DPMM with a four-game unbeaten streak.
DPMM on the other hand, are somehow just one point above bottom-placed Garena Young Lions and are also on a woeful eight-game winless streak.
Simply put, DPMM have had a horrible season and the League Cup gives them the opportunity to prove that they are not a spent force.
The Stags, sitting third in the S.League table, are coming into this game after a 1-1 draw against Geylang International.
They were on an impressive winning streak till Ricardo Sendra decided otherwise to steal a point for the Eagles last week.
As for DPMM, their last win goes back to early April and they will require much effort to earn three points in the League Cup Group B.
However, when it comes to the history and experience of winning the League Cup, DPMM have the upper hand of winning it three times while Tampines are yet to win it.
DPMM’s latest import Daud Gazale was subbed off in the early minutes of the game against Warriors last week and the Chilean remains a doubt to feature in this game.
Tampines have no reported injuries.
KEY BATTLE: FAZRUL NAWAZ VS VINCENT SALAS
Fleet-footed speedster Fazrul Nawaz has returned from a year-long anterior cruciate ligament injury and quickly made an impact for the Stags.
The 32-year-old scored in the draw against Geylang and will most likely feature against DPMM to gain match fitness.
If he does, he will most likely come up against Chilean defender Vincent Salas. Salas has yet to prove his worth for DPMM.
When a foreigner comes to the S.League, they carry with them a ton of expectations and it will help Salas’ cause if he keeps Fazrul and company at bay.
Steve Kean was not a happy camper last week when his side was denied a late penalty against Warriors.
Decisions like this have perhaps not helped his team’s cause, but whatever he has done so far — be it bringing in Zeljko Savic, Billy Mehmet or Francois Marque — is not working too.
Having won the League Cup back in 2014 however, Kean has the experience to somehow inspire a run in the cup.
Since being knocked out the AFC Cup, Jurgen Raab’s team have had impressive runs in the league and they look like they might be able to challenge in the League Cup.
Raab will perhaps have extra motivation to win the League Cup and cement his name in the history books to be the first Tampines coach to do so.
FACTS AND FIGURES
PAST FIVE MEETINGS
- DPMM 0-1 Tampines (S.League, Apr ’17)
- Tampines 0-1 DPMM (S.League, Oct’ 16)
- DPMM 2-1 Tampines (S.League, Jul’ 16)
- Tampines 4-3 DPMM (S.League, Jun’ 16)
- DPMM 1-2 Tampines (S.League, Mar’16)
- Brunei DPMM have played 12 games in 2017, winning only one (2-0 against Hougang)
- In these 12 games, they have conceded 29 goals
- The previous time the two teams met ended in a 1-0 win for the Stags
- Tampines have already played eight more games than DPMM this year (20)
- DPMM have won the League Cup three times, Tampines none
Given their form, this game points to a Tampines victory. 2-0 Stags.