Preview: Home United vs Tampines Rovers

The uniformed giants, who are chasing second place, come up against the league leaders, who could possibly be crowned champions even before kick-off
October 21, Monday, 7.30p.m., Bishan Stadium

Given that Tampines Rovers could possibly be crowned 2013 S.League champions even before the kick-off of this game, the three points here would matter more to their opponents, Home United.

Albirex Niigata play Balestier Khalsa the night before and if the Japanese side fail to win, the Stags will be assured of a third consecutive league title.

Any sort of slip-up from the White Swans would also allow the Protectors to capitalise, given that they are only one point behind them in third place at the time of writing. A second-place finish would cap a turnaround from their poor form at the start of the campaign, which cost Lee Lim Saeng's men a tilt at the title.

The uniformed giants are on a run of three consecutive wins, a 3-2 victory over Woodlands Wellington in the league followed by two successive 1-0 triumphs in both legs of their Singapore Cup semi-final over Balestier Khalsa.

Home will have to do without the suspended Sirina Camara in defence, but the Ismail Yunos should recover from a hamstring injury in time. Lee can also call upon the likes of Nor Azli Yusoff, Sevki Sha'ban and Sofiyan Abdul Hamid to provide cover.

Hafiz Rahim came off the bench to good effect against the Tigers in their last game and may find himself rewarded with a starting spot, while the Stags will also do well to keep a tight leash on wingers Firdaus Idros and Jordan Webb.

The battle between Tampines hardman Mustafic Fahrudin and Home's Korean star Lee Kwan Woo in midfield looks set to be a tasty one as well, with the latter looking to add to his nine-goal haul.

For Tampines, they will want to bounce back after a 0-0 draw with Balestier in their last league game and a recent 1-0 loss to Geylang International in a friendly.

Stags coach Tay Peng Kee will also hope star striker Aleksandar Duric does not exert himself too much at the IG Masters Singapore Cup the day before, with the 13-goal league top scorer still very much a threat to opposing defences.

Singapore striker Khairul Amri is their man in form, having bagged goals against Laos and Syria in the recent international week and he will be eager to keep up the streak. Shahdan Sulaiman and Shaiful Esah also got run-outs, and their set-piece prowess could make a telling difference in this.

This should come down to who wants it more and Home will be keen to make amends for the 4-1 thrashing they received when both teams last met.