7th April 2012 (Saturday)
Geylang United vs Tampines Rovers
Bedok Stadium, 7.45pm
Photo courtesy of FAS
Two traditional rivals come face to face in the Eastern Derby as Geylang United host Tampines Rovers at the Bedok Stadium.
Geylang will be looking to kick start their season after only three points in as many games and a win against the title holders will be able to provide a much needed boost to the team’s morale.
Much emphasis will be placed on the creativity of former Burnley trainee Michael King to create the chances but the real fight should be in defence as team captain Yazid Yasin and former Arsenal trainee Rhema Obed face the likes of Aleksandar Duric, Davor Piskor and Gligor Gligorov. Skipper Yazid who is also the team’s custodian will have to be at the top of his game and command his defence well if Geylang is looking to get anything out of this fixture.
The Eagles will most likely be looking to hit on the break via the likes of King and Jozef Kaplan but watch out for the pace and flair of Faizal Samad who has the potential to be the game changer if he gets the nod by new coach Kanan. The former Prime League coach will most probably seek a ‘soak and counter’ approach as OPOD predicts that Tampines will be going in with their guns blazing.
Tampines Rovers are a team that can control the pace of the game and arguably the best on paper but Duric and co. will have to start hitting the back of the net more often if they are to win the title again. The backline will also need better communication with keeper Sasa Dreven who is susceptible of lapse of concentration despite his obvious qualities in shot stopping and distribution and it will be interesting to see how Geylang takes advantage of this flaw in Tampines’s armour.
Prediction: The same fixture in pre-season resulted in a 2-1 win for the men in yellow as the Stags played a game of two halves. Things should be different this time as they look to find their way up the table. 4-1 to Tampines as high chance that King will be coming up with another moment of magic to give Geylang their only goal.