S-League Big Bet Preview: In-form Hougang could overcome Balestier; Brunei DPMM too strong for Albirex

High-flying Hougang United could pick up three points against Baletier Khalsa while Albirex Niigata could struggle away in Brunei
Hougang United
Balestier Khalsa

Hougang look good to pick up yet another three points when they take on fellow over-achievers Balestier in the routine Thursday night televised clash.

Darren Stewart has built a formidable backline by pairing new recruit Goran Subara and Paul Cunningham in the middle. Coupled with goalkeeper Joey Sim’s good form, they effectively shut out big guns Tampines Rovers and Home United.

However Canadian wing wonder Jordan Webb’s record of scoring in each league game so far is not to be ignored. He, ably assisted by playmakers Ante Barac and Azhar Sairudin, could prove to be the match-winner on the night again.

Tampines Rovers
Woodlands Wellington
Reigning champions Tampines should have no problems picking up their belated first win of the season when they host surprise package Woodlands on Friday.

Although they were seconds away from a credible point against Albirex the last time round, the manner of the defeat could be a crushing blow for Salim Moin’s men.

With a two-and-a-half weeks’ break since the disappointing defeat against Balestier, the Stags should have reinvigorated themselves in time for this first ever home game away from their beloved den in the East.

Tanjong Pagar
  Gombak United

Strugglers Tanjong Pagar may finally earn their first win of the season when they host Gombak.

Crushing defeats to young foreign sides in Albirex Niigata and Harimau Muda in their past two matches should not linger on their minds for long.

The Bulls could be fresh meat for the Jaguars who will have the added motivation of playing a competive fixture at their beloved Queenstown home for the first time since their return to the league.

Geylang United
0-1 Home United
Geylang complete the trio of teams playing at home for the first time this season, but they are likely to fall to their third successive defeat despite having home advantage.

Foreign signings Michael King and Jozef Kaplan have flattered to deceive so far and the team does not look capable of posing a threat to their opponents’ backline.

Home will be looking to carry on their winning form after their 3-1 midweek defeat of Citizen in the AFC Cup. The Protectors may sense this as the perfect opportunity to pick up three points to move up the table.

Brunei DPMM
1-0 Albirex Niigata
DPMM look to have adapted to life back in the S-League like fish to water despite having a much-changed team since their last campaign in 2009.

Four points from top teams Tampines and SAFFC meant that they are likely to challenge for honours again this term.

Despite Albirex picking up three wins out of three, late goals from the last couple of games seemed to have flattered them slightly.

A boisterous crowd is likely to turn out in Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium in Brunei again and that could be the main factor that freezes out the young Japanese outfit for the first time this season.