Sunday, September 25, 2011

S-league Preview XXIV & XXV (edited for correcting some errors)

Mon 26-Sep Etoile FC - TPUFC (QTN)
Tue 27-Sep SAFFC - Tampines Rovers (CCK)
Wed 28-Sep Home United - CYL (BSN)
Thu 29-Sep Balestier Khalsa - Gombak United (TPY)
Fri 30-Sep Geylang United - Hougang United (JBS)

Mon 3-Oct TPUFC - CYL (QTN)
Mon 3-Oct Hougang United - Balestier Khalsa (QTN)
Tue  4-Oct Woodlands Wellington - Etoile FC (CCK)
Wed 5-Oct Albirex Niigata (S) - Geylang United (JES)
Thu 6-Oct  Hougang United - TPUFC (HGG)
Thu 6-Oct Balestier Khalsa - CYL (TPY)

S-league Preview XXIII - 4 right with 1 perfect score and 3 wrong 

Etoile FC - TPUFC
I wonder what mental state Etoile is in now. Having lost the semi-final of the Singapore Cup, they are doom to finish empty-handed after last season Double and that is a blow. But they have a season to finish and the least their ultras will expect is that the team is a professional (I think they can agree with that). That mean finishing off the Jaguars. 2-0 to Etoile FC

SAFFC - Tampines Rovers
For such games, I have always say to be on the safe side, it is a draw. But not at this point as a draw only benefit their rivals and a winner may have to emerge. It is not easy as both sides are capable of beating the other on their day so who will be the top dog on the day. At this point, I am willing to go with the home side as 1) they have the advantage of the home pitch and at CCK it is a big advantage 2) The Warriors players are less taxed than the Stags for the Stags have the added responsibility of Asia this year 3) The Warriors main players, other than Daniel Bennett, are not national players while the Stags most important attacker Duric is. This is important as the national players are taxed to the max this quarter and when one hear Lionel Lewis being burn out, one know players are also human. 3-1 to SAFFC 

Home United - CYL
8 more games to go and every point count. So it win or bust. The Protectors have no excuse why they cannot get full point as even their second team could take on the Cubs. Also it is not played at the artificial pitch of JBS so that is another plus for them. At the same time, the Cubs have no advantage of a good rest as they battled in Vietnam in the same week Home was playing in the Singapore Cup. Clearly all the advantage are with the home side. 3-0 to Home 

Balestier Khalsa - Gombak United 
The Bulls are a side capable of finishing in the top half yet they can easily fail to reach that target. This is the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde side of the Bulls. One just do not know if they are mentally prepared for the challenge. Darren Stewart cannot keep hiding behind the undeniable fact they have lost good players over the last two seasons as he has been given his own sweet time to build a side in his own image. He must show he is a good a coach as anybody in the league and for this season, it mean a top half finish. They have the squad to to do that. 3-1 to Gombak

Geylang United - Hougang United
 The Eagles have kept the nucleus of the side for a while now and one can see they are ready to reap it reward which is a top half finish once again (4 time in last 5 seasons). It may not seem like much but for Geylang it is only the start of a climb (A very long climb) back to being a force in the S-league. What is clearly handicapping them is the U23 policy as they cannot reap the benefit of their youngsters like in 03 thus they have to go the long way of building a side with players who are not as 'desired' (Khalili D'Cruz etc). It is a tough road to ply. 3-2 to Geylang 

Out of the 10 points the Jaguars won this season, 8 have come from the Cubs and the Rams. This show the Jaguars can take on this two teams as both lacked the killer touch to trouble the Clementi side; who have good foreign recruits. The Jaguars could be collecting their points again from the Cubs again. 2-1 to Jaguars

Hougang United - Balestier Khalsa
The games are coming in thick and fast for Hougang and I am not sure they have the squad to deal with it. After a 3-day rest, they do battle again and this is their 6th games in 22 days. Not even the Big 3 squad will be able to deal with it, in my opinion, let alone Hougang. The Tigers could well take advantage of that. 2-1 to Balestier 

Woodlands Wellington - Etoile FC
Can the Stars not win this one? Surely if they cannot do that, we know their mind is gone and that they are cruising towards the end of the season which is not the professional thing to do. They have commented they are a professional side then this is the time to show it. 2-0 to Etoile 

Albirex Niigata (S) - Geylang United 
A tough game for the White Swans as the Eagles are 1 of the side capable of derailing their title challenge. Indeed the Eagles could have ended the White Swans League Cup dream had they hold out for another few more moment. Since then, the Eagles have got stronger and this time there is no extra-time for Albirex to win full point to continue their challenge. With the Big 3 having games in hand, they can slip up and Albirex can only, at best, catch up with them but if Albirex slip, it could be the end. 2-2 draw 

Hougang United - TPUFC
Another game in a crazy month for Hougang and they must have expended all their round by now. The Jaguars must hope so as Hougang is no easy place to visit to win a point or more. But it could well be the case as the Jaguars targets are easy to achieve which is any point gain this season is a win. So they do not need more than a point and I can see doing that. 1-1 draw 

Balestier Khalsa - CYL
The Tigers can still climb out of the bottom 3 and they can do that if they beat the Cubs. Surely coach Salim Moin do not hoped his players are happy with their current position and the players proved there is still hunger and desire in them. This is the least expected of them as one is not asking to win anything other than this match so they still can climb out of the bottom 3. It is not asking for the sky. 2-1 to Tigers

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