S-League Big Bet Preview: Leaders Balestier to extend fine form, Warriors to beat Jaguars

Leaders Balestier Khalsa expected to extend their good run and Warriors to continue their revival against the Jaguars
Harimau Muda
Brunei DPMM

Harimau and DPMM, the 2 foreign teams in the league this season, have started their campaigns brightly with many tipping them to challenge for the league title. Both teams remain unbeaten and have been a joy to watch with their brand of attractive football.

In their last match, Harimau were unfortunate not to pick up 3 points against a resolute Albirex side that defended outstandingly, but expect them to stick to their game plan. Coach Ong Kim Swee should be wary of fatigue though, with the team having to play 3 matches in 8 days.

Brunei DPMM demolished the Eagles 4-1 in Brunei and in truth should have scored more. They would be looking to carry on their good form but would be faced with a mobile and compact Harimau team. Expect plenty of good football but a tight affair with few goals.


Geylang United
Balestier Khalsa
The Eagles have started the season poorly and have yet to pick a point from their opening 4 matches conceding 16 goals in the process. Balestier Khalsa on the other hand, have been the surprise package of the season, storming to the top of the table.

Despite replacing coach Mike Wong with Prime League coach V. Kanakarajan, the Eagles were poor in Brunei and were fortunate not to receive a bigger hiding. With Geylang playing at home, this game would be a good chance to stem the tide and repay their fans for their continued support.

Leaders Balestier have continued their good form aided by their water-tight defence, marshalled expertly by Paul Cunningham. Despite having problems finding the net, their defensive rigidness has helped them climb to the top of the table. The Eagles would have to be at their best to stop the Tigers.

Tanjong Pagar
  Singapore Armed Forces

The Warriors come into this game after picking up their first win of the season against the Courts Young Lions. Their attacking trio of Fazrul Nawaz, Mislav Karoglan and Tatsuro Inui have forged a formidable partnership and have helped the team score 9 goals in their last 3 games.

The Jaguars have started the season poorly and coach Terry has been openly critical about his senior players. The Jaguars have been a shadow of themselves and have not picked up any points from their opening 4 matches.

Facing a resurgent Warriors side would be a tough call for the Jaguars but would be an excellent opportunity for them to kick start their season and repay their faithful supporters. Crucially, the Jaguars have never beaten the Warriors in League history and expect that run to continue!

Gombak United
1-0 Woodlands
Gombak United return to action after 2 weeks and will be looking to build on their victory against the Jaguars last time out. The Bulls were impressive in seeing out a 3-0 victory against the Jaguars and can take plenty of confidence from their performance.

The Rams are in a mini slump after their impressive start to the season and would be looking to put in a good showing for their fans and arrest their form. Having lost 3 games in a row, the Rams would have spent time to rethink their play and expect them to come out blazing.

Gombak coach K. Balagumaran would be hoping that his young team continue to impress and gain valuable experience as the campaign progresses. A major exodus pre-season has left Gombak threadbare this season and a good campaign would give them optimism for the future.

Tampines Rovers
2-0 Hougang United
The Stags come into this tie after a poor draw against Vietnamese side Song Lam Nghe An, struggling to find the net.  Tampines would again look to talisman Aleksandar Duric to find his scoring boots and expect coach Steven Tan to ring the changes. The Stags have had a tight fixture schedule and fatigue was evident in their lacklustre showing in their last match.

Hougang United were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Home United and would look to bounce back immediately. Coach Nenad Bacina will be relying on Canadian star forward Jordan Webb to impress. Jordan has been targeted by opposition defenders and it remains to be seen if he will set the league on fire. 

Home advantage should help the Stags edge this tie.

Harimau Muda
2-1 Courts Young Lions
This game is a must watch! In the clash of the league's 2 Under-23 teams, Harimau Muda and the Courts Young Lions would face off in on Sunday at the Yishun Stadium.

The teams play with similar styles but have contrasting starts to their campaigns. Harimau Muda have started their season brightly picking up 7 points from their first 3 matches. The Young Lions though, have yet to put any points on the board.

Lions coach Robin Chitrakar has pledged to continue playing a positive brand of football and is confident that the results would fall their way. The Lions would have to be at their very best to beat the Malaysians but can take comfort from their revival against the Warriors.

This would be a cracking tie and could go either way!

Home United
1-1 Albirex Niigata
In the clash of the weekend, the Protectors host Albirex at Bishan Stadium. Home United have turned their season around after a slow start and would look to build on their form.

Home's revival in fortunes is particularly due to the understanding of their attacking trio of Shi Jiayi, Federic Mendy and Qui Li have forged. Unbeaten after five matches, the Protectors would be coming into this game after a tough trip to Thailand and must watch their fitness levels.

Albirex was fortunate to hold Harimau Muda to a draw in their last match and would look to rediscover their form after being winless in their last 2 matches. Albirex coach Koichi Sugiyama has called for focus after their disappointing showings and will be expecting the senior players to step up and be counted.