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Preview: Harimau Muda vs Geylang International

Preview: Harimau Muda vs Geylang International

Chris Harvey

The League Cup Plate winners will hope to get back to winning ways against opponents who have not won any of their last six league matches

September 26, Thursday, 8.45p.m., Pasir Gudang Stadium

Geylang International may be thankful that they will not have to combat the searing heat at Pasir Gudang Stadium as they travel to take on Harimau Muda, with kick-off pushed back four hours to 8.45p.m.

The hosts will be eager to bounce back from a disappointing display against Brunei DPMM last week, where they went down 3-1. That was preceded by a 2-1 home loss to Hougang United, who had lost seven games prior to that.

Such poor form threatens to derail what has been a more-than-decent campaign for Razip Ismail's side in their first-ever S.League season, which saw them narrowly miss out on a top-six finish.

The Young Tigers will look to skipper Azzizan Nordin to inspire them, the midfielder having emerged as a vital cog in their engine room. The talented duo of Maxsius Musa and Ridzuan Abdunloh will also need to improve on their recent form, with their creativity and skill able to trouble any defence on their day.

Their opponents are just three points behind, but the Eagles' form of late has been abysmal.

A 1-0 loss to bottom side Courts Young Lions extended a winless run to eight games in all competitions and they will hope to get back to winning ways against a team that should still be affected by injuries.

Star man Jozef Kaplan's goals has dried up of late after a free-scoring run earlier in the season, with his partnership with the returning Stefan Milojevic not proving too effective thus far.

But the Slovakian (right) remains one of the league's best players and he does have a liking for the stadium here, having struck a superb hat-trick to lead Geylang to a 4-1 rout and their first points of the season back in March. The captain will be aided by the return of veteran Mohd Noor Ali, who has proved he can still cut it after coming out of retirement.

Goalkeeper Takuma Ito was in fine form in their last game, his steady improvement after a rather shaky start to life at Bedok Stadium rewarded by the club naming him their best player for August. Delwinder Singh looks set to keep his place in defence after recovering from a broken nose, although winger Yasir Hanapi misses out due to suspension.

Coach Vedhamuthu Kanan will want his side to show more desire and hunger and with Razip looking for the same as well, both teams could well cancel out each other.