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  • August 25, 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Queenstown Stadium, Singapore
  • Referee: Muhd Farhad
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Preview: Tanjong Pagar United vs Courts Young Lions

Preview: Tanjong Pagar United vs Courts Young Lions

Muhammad Farhan

The hosts can surge to second in the table with victory against the league's bottom side, who are still searching for their first win of the season

August 25, Sunday, 7.30p.m., Queenstown Stadium

Tanjong Pagar United will look to continue their fine form against cellar-dwelling Courts Young Lions when they entertain the latter at home in the second-last kickoff of the week.

Unbeaten in their last six league games, the hosts will be confident of extending that run with victory against beleaguered opponents still searching for a first victory 19 games into the campaign.

The Jaguars will be further spurred on to get the three points by virtue of the chance to replace second-placed Albirex Niigata on goal difference - something surely even the most ardent of supporters would have never expected given that they finished 12th out of 13 teams last season.

New coach Patrick Vallee has revolutionised things at Queenstown this year, fostering a strong team spirit and self-belief in his charges. His astute signings have also accounted for much of the side's success, with the trio of Monsef Zerka, Ismael Benahmed and Kamel Ramdani banging in 26 of the club's 31 goals, which is the second-highest tally in the league.

In particular, former Morocco international Zerka (right) has taken to local football like a fish to water, leading the league's scoring charts with 11 goals in his debut season. The clinical striker has proven to be a class act with deadly finishing skills and will be the greatest danger to the Young Lions, together with partner Benahmed.

While the Jaguars will miss the influential playmaking skills of Ramdani due to suspension woes, they won't lack firepower with the likes of Hafiz Nor and Asraf Rashid bombing down the wings while John Wilkinson dictates proceedings from the centre of the park.

The Young Lions will have to find a way to tighten things at the back against such a fearsome attacking force. Forty-five goals leaked so far does not make for pretty reading, and coach Aide Iskandar will have to do without fullbacks Al-Qaasimy Rahman and Farhan Rahmat due to suspension.

While they have turned in noticeably much-improved performances in the second half of the season, the Young Lions have not been able to translate them into victories, in no small part due to their struggle to hit the back of the net.

Aide continues his bid to find a way for his young charges to be more clinical and will hope his faith in forwards Sahil Suhaimi, Sherif El-Masri and Iqbal Hussain reaps dividends more often. He can also count on the indomitable M. Anumanthan in midfield, while centreback Afiq Yunos and goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari will have to be in top form to repel the Jaguars.

A slender 3-2 victory over Woodlands Wellington in their last game proves that Tanjong Pagar have their weaknesses at the back, but it is hard to see anything other than a home victory here as the outcome.


Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Tanjong Pagar

Young Lions

Wins
4
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Tanjong Pagar United FC TAN
Tanjong Pagar United FC Tanjong Pagar
Draw
Young Lions YLI
Young Lions Young Lions
100%

Top 3 Predictions

Tanjong Pagar United FC TAN
3 - 0
Young Lions YLI
Tanjong Pagar United FC TAN
2 - 1
Young Lions YLI
Tanjong Pagar United FC TAN
8 - 0
Young Lions YLI

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