S-League Match Preview Week 17
21st July 2012 (Saturday)
Home United v Hougang United
Bishan Stadium, 8.30 pm
A Home United side still on a high after a tremendous 7-3 win over Geylang United the last time out will take on an on form Hougang United who have won three straight games to rise to eighth spot in the league.
For all their brilliance against the Eagles however, their defence remains questionable. The Protectors went in the halftime break down 2-1 against the bottom side club and their blushes were saved only by their formidable attack in the second half.
They have blown hot and cold this year which is indicated by their form over the last five league games - two losses sandwiched by three wins. Against the seemingly on the rise Cheetahs, they will need to buck up at the back or else the likes of Jordan Webb and Ante Barac will be taking full advantage of any mistakes.
Shifting their focus from possession football to counter-attacking football has clearly worked a treat for the North-East side. In their last match against surprise package Balestier Khalsa, their fast breaks clearly troubled the Tigers who are known for their sturdy defence this year.
Basit Hamid and Mamadou Diallo both looks to be in groove, while the lively Jordan Webb, who also is the top scorer for his side with nine in the league, will be expected to spearhead the attack.
However, the key will lie in central midfield pairing Ante Barac and Azhar Sairudin. Both have been key in the last three wins with the mercurial Barac even netting a wicked freekick against Balestier. Should they perform as they did, a win over the inconsistent Home might not be that improbable after all, even if they might miss Captain Lau Meng Meng at the back due to his suspension.
Home last five games: WLWLW
Hougang last five games: LLWWW
Suspended: Lau Meng Meng (Hougang)
Previous meeting: Hougang 1 Home 2 (Jalan Besar Stadium)
Prediction: It will be too close to call, but four might just be out of reach for the Cheetahs. Home United to just about edge it 2-1.