Warriors FC vs Home United: In-form rivals meet in Uniformed Derby
An opportunity for two in-form rivals to edge out the other in a highly anticipated derby
If there was ever a time and place for a derby that you can look forward to in Singapore football, it has to be the 'Uniformed' derby on Saturday at Chua Chu Kang Stadium.
- Warriors 5-3 DPMM (S.League)
- Warriors 4-3 Young Lions (S.League)
- Tampines 0-1 Warriors (S.League)
- Warriors 1-1 Geylang (S.League)
- Balestier Khalsa 0-2 Warriors (S.League)
These two rivals are in such excellent form and are yet to lose in the league. They have also bagged plenty of goals this season, 13 for Warriors in five games and just as many for Home United in four.
Therefore, it is quite understandable if fans are expecting the match to rain goals. Both teams have some of the most in-form players in the league too.
The Protectors’ sharp shooter Stipe Plazibat has a whopping eight goals from just four games while his partner in crime, Faris Ramli has three in four.
For the Warriors, the exciting Jordan Webb has five in five while their striker Joel Tshibamba is getting into the groove after scoring two in his last two games.
These are just some of the names that can light up Chua Chu Kang Stadium as players like Baihakki Khaizan, Shahril Ishak, Hariss Harun and Afiq Yunos too, can provide a spark on Saturday night.
HOME UNITED FORM
- Home 4-1 Yadanarbon (AFC Cup)
- Hougang United 0-2 Home (S.League)
- Than Quang Ninh 4-5 Home (AFC Cup)
- Home 2-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
- Home 3-2 Than Quang Ninh (AFC Cup)
Warriors come into this game with a 5-3 win against Brunei DPMM at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium while Home United progressed to the next stage of AFC Cup with a convincing 4-1 victory against Yadanarbon.
There are no injury news from the Warriors camp.
The Protectors however, might not be able to utilise the likes of Hassan Sunny, Izzdin Shafiq Aqhari Abdullah and Christopher van Huizen.
Izzdin is out of the game due to a knee injury while Hassan played in midweek against Yadanarbon with a badly bruised ankle that he suffered in training.
Aqhari and Christopher picked up knocks during the game against the Myanmar outfit and might need fitness tests to determine their availability for the game
KEY BATTLE: Stipe Plazibat vs. Baihakki Khaizan
Jordan Webb up against Sirina Camara, Shahril Ishak against Hariss Harun and Joel Tshibamba versus Afiq Yunos – these are some of the duels that are eagerly awaited but it probably boils down to in-form striker Plazibat against veteran defender Baihakki.
The S.League’s current top scorer is in sizzling hot form. Plazibat has scored eight goals in four games in the league and has 14 in all competitions from 10 games.
Besides goal scoring, the forward has an eye for an assist too. He provided an assist for Afiq Yunos in the midweek game against Yadanarbon with a headed pass.
These are some of the threats that one of Singapore’s most decorated defenders Baihakki has to look out for.
Although the Warriors won their previous two games scoring nine goals, they did concede six – three against the league bottom placed side Young Lions and another three against Brunei.
That said, Baihakki has often gotten the better of foreign strikers during his stint with LionsXII. Will he be able to come up top against the Croation Plazibat this time?
Both coaches leading the two teams out on Saturday’s derby have one similar trait – they have been with their clubs for a long time.
Razif Onn started out as a youth coach in 1999 with the Warriors and had been part of the back room staff since until he was offered the head coach position initially on an interim basis last season.
PAST FIVE MEETINGS
- Home United 3 – 0 Warriors (S.League, Aug ‘16)
- Warriors 1 – 2 Home United (S.League, April ’16)
- Home United 2 – 2 Warriors (S.League, Feb’ 16)
- Home United 2 – 1 Warriors (S.League, Oct ’15)
- Home United 2 – 0 Warriors (S. Cup Aug’ 15)
Aidil Sharin on the other hand will be making his 401st appearance both as a player and a coach for the team. He spent 10 years as a player and then subsequently became youth and then head coach.
Their loyalty and long service to their respective clubs only adds to the importance of the game as both coaches will be fuelled to get three points out of the derby.
Unbeaten in the league so far, neither of the two would want to taste defeat, especially to a close rival.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Home United are unbeaten in the previous seven matches against Warriors (W 4, D3).
- The last time Warriors won against Home was in July 2015 - a 2-1 win.
- There has been at least two goals in this fixture from the previous 12 meetings.
- In 42 matches played against each other, Home United have won 23 and Warriors 19.
This game has all the hallmarks of a great contest and it is difficult to pick out a winner given the form both teams are in. We're predicting a 2-2 draw.
Photos: S.League/Home United