Preview: Hougang United vs Harimau Muda

After enduring win-less runs recently, both teams will be eager to get the three points as they strive to finish higher up in the bottom half
October 24, Thursday, 7.30p.m., Hougang Stadium

Hougang United's quest to avoid finishing second last continues when they welcome Harimau Muda to their den on Thursday night.

After only one point from their last two games, the Cheetahs will be keen to return to winning ways. They will have to recover from a unfruitful trip to Brunei in their previous league outing, where they fell 1-0 to Brunei DPMM.

The margin of defeat could have been much larger had it not been for the heroics of goalkeeper Fadhil Salim, who put in an immense performance with several superb saves. The 30-year-old has easily been one of the best custodians in the league, along with Warriors FC's Hassan Sunny, and he should find things relatively easier against the Young Tigers' attack.

Caretaker coach Amin Nasir will have fond memories facing the Malaysians, having garnered his first points in charge with a 2-1 win back in Pasir Gudang in August. Striker Mamadou Diallo struck in that win and the Guinean will hope to get on the scoresheet again as he spearheads the attack.

The Cheetahs will miss the suspended Fairoz Hasan, while Harimau Muda have a clean slate on that front.

Razip Ismail's men recently returned from the Thanh Nien Newspaper Cup tournament in Vietnam, where they drew 1-1 with Sydney FC before being demolished 5-1 by the Vietnam Under-21s. That might not have been the ideal result, but the youngsters will have benefitted from seeing action to maintain their match sharpness.

Win-less in their last three, Harimau Muda will be eager to get back on track as they can still top Tier 2, with one game in hand on the three sides ahead of them. But Hougang will not be pushovers at home and this could be a feisty encounter.