S-League Preview Week 12
Tanjong Pagar United v Balestier Khalsa
Queenstown Stadium, 7.45 pm
Photo courtesy of FAS
Perennial strugglers Tanjong Pagar United will take on surprise package Balestier Khalsa, a week after producing the upset of the season so far when they beat Home United 1-0.
In that win against Home, the Jaguars put on a magnificent showing. They defended stoutly, while Aliff Shafaein finally showed what he was truly capable of with his best performance yet in a Jaguar jersey.
Takaya Kawanabe will no doubt be the key man once again, with the Japanese recording five goals already. However, against a stingy Balestier defence, his strike partner Lee Joo Sang will be required to step up, while winger Aliff Shafaein will be needed to repeat his performance from last week.
Balestier Khalsa on the other hand, have surprised many this season. They will be determined to push on and wrestle back the top spot from Brunei DPMM FC, but will have to do so without a number of injured players.
Already missing defensive lynchpin Goran Subara from a broken arm suffered in their last game against Harimau Muda, they have further lost key midfielders Tengku Mushadad and Ridwan Jamil through a knee and torn ACL injury respectively in the past week. Jaslee Hatta will be expected to fill in at centreback, with Yusiskandar Yusop coming in at rightback. Captain Paul Cunningham will be tasked to lead the makeshift backline, while Park Kang Jin will be the man to unlock the Jaguars’ defence.
Despite Balestier’s strong league showing, not all hope is lost for the Jaguars. Geylang United have already proved that Balestier Khalsa are beatable, and Terry Pathmanathan will be hoping that his charges will be able to continue their good form.
Jaguars last five games: LWLLW
Tigers last five games: LDWWW
Prediction: Despite the home advantage, it will be hard to see the Jaguars picking up any points. In Darren Stewart, Balestier have a head coach who will bring the best out of his charges. 2-0 to the Tigers.