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AFC Cup: Know the Rivals of Churchill Brothers - Warriors FC (Singapore)

AFC Cup: Know the Rivals of Churchill Brothers - Warriors FC (Singapore)

Muhammad Fitrah

Churchill take on Warriors FC from Singapore in a must-win game for the Red Machines. Goal.com has a look at what they are up against...

Churchill take on Warriors FC from Singapore in a must-win game of group E in the AFC Cup for the Red Machines.

In the build-up to the game, Goal.com gives you some insight about the team from Singapore, in its know your rivals series.

Origin - The club has its roots in the Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (SAFSA) football team formed in 1975. It was formed  to provide players in the National Service with opportunities to play competitive football. That year, they won the President's Cup, a feat they repeated in 1978, when they also captured the National Football League title.

Recent History – The Warriors are the most successful club in Singapore with eight S-League titles, four Singapore Cups and two Charity Shields. However, they had a poor 2012 season, finishing sixth out of 13 teams - their lowest league finish ever. They did however beat Tampines Rovers in the Singapore Cup final to end the season with some silverware.

Change In Name – The Singaporean outfit have changed their name  to Warriors F.C this season, having been known as Singapore Armed Forces FC (SAFFC) since their establishment on 16 February 1996.

The logo of Warriors FC stands out amongst others!...

Logo – The Warriors initially hoped to have a warrior as their logo! However since the league rules only allow for animals, therefore one gets to see the Rhino get the pride of place.

Coach: V. Selvaraj, a former Singapore international, took over from Richard Bok this season, having been assistant coach at the club last season. He promised that his side will play attractive football, but the Warriors have not been impressive so far.

Recent Form - In the domestic league, the club had one of the worst starts to the season, picking up only seven points out of a possible eighteen – won twice, drawn once and lost thrice.  Still without a win in the AFC Cup, pressure is on coach V.Selvaraj to win the match against Churchill Brothers and get back on track for qualification to the next round.

Strengths: On paper, they have a strong squad with talented individuals and are capable of stringing some good passing football. A threat at set-pieces, thanks to the left-foot prowess of winger Tatsuro Inui and are over the years, known to possess good fighting spirit.

Weaknesses: The defence has not been stable since last season, with the Warriors looking unsure at the back when confronted with speedy attacks. Daniel Bennett has lost his turn of pace, while goalkeeper Hassan Sunny has returned from long-term injuries this season, that kept him out for the better part of the last two seasons. The midfield also does not offer much protection for the back-four, leaving them vulnerable at times.

Churchill will have to deal with Karoglan, if they wish to win against the Warriors...

Key men - Mislav Karoglan: The striker has an unerring eye for goal and grabbed the Golden Boot in his debut season with a staggering 33 goals in 31 games. He hit 14 goals in 23 matches last season and is deadly in the box. The Bosnian is capable with either foot and is no slouch in the air too.

Tatsuro Inui: The left winger has a deadly left foot that can whip in dangerous crosses, as well as wicked freekicks and corners. Many of his goals have come from dead ball situations as well, and his skill and trickery makes him a threat both down the flanks and when he cuts in.

Likely Starting Eleven -  Hassan Sunny; Ruzaini Zainal – Abdil Qaiyyim – Marin Vidosevic – Daniel Bennett; Shukor Zailan; Erwan Gunawan – Shimperi Sakurada – Tatsuro Inui; Mislav Karoglan – Sufian Anuar

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