Sunday, June 19, 2011

S-league Preview XVII & XVIII (Edited)

S-league Preview XVI - 4 right & 3 wrong

Mon 20-Jun Gombak United - Balestier Khalsa (JWS)
Mon 20-Jun Hougang United - Geylang United (HGG)
Tue 21-Jun Tampines Rovers - SAFFC (TMP)
Wed 22-Jun Woodlands Wellington - Home United (WLD)
Thu 23-Jun  Balestier Khalsa - Hougang United (TPY)
Thu 23-Jun Etoile FC - Courts Young Lions (QTN)
Fri 24-Jun Geylang United - Albirex Niigata (S) (BDK)
Sat 25-Jun Home United - Tampines Rovers (BSN)
Sat 25-Jun SAFFC - Gombak United (CCK)

Mon 27-Jun Geylang United - Woodlands Wellington (BDK)
Mon 27-Jun TPUFC - Etoile FC (CMT)
Tue 28-Jun Albirex Niigata (S) - Balestier Khalsa (JES)
Thu 30-Jun Hougang United - Gombak United (HGG)
Fri 1-Jul TPUFC - Geylang United (JBS)
Sat 2-Jul Tampines Rovers - Woodlands Wellington (TMP) 

Gombak United vs Balestier Khalsa
The Bulls have just defeated the Tigers in the Singapore Cup so they must be fancied. Yes, I do not trust the Bulls but at this point the Tigers are in a slump and struggling to string any results. Even the Bulls should get full points from this game but who know as this is the (ultra-defensive) Bulls we are talking about. 2-1 to the Bulls 

Hougang United vs Geylang United
The Eagles have no attack and no defence and is facing a point where they could drop into the bottom 3. It would have been an unbelievable story at the start of the season but this is the reality now. I am not sure they are in any shape to take on Hougang. 2-1 to Hougang 

Tampines Rovers vs SAFFC
The first of two big games of the week for Tampines. They will not like what I think of them at this point. I believe they are vulnerable not just because of injuries but also because they are tired while their main rivals have started to gel. Of the big teams, Tampines is the one to have make the most minimal adjustment to their squad and it has shown in the first round where they needed no time to get off the ground. But now as they make little changes, their first team is stretched with few resources to call off the bench. Fahrudin return will be welcomed but one player is not enough considering how many they lost. 2-1 to SAFFC 

Woodlands Wellington vs Home United
The Rams have just been destroyed in the Singapore Cup by Home. Anybody believed the Rams can turn it around within one week. We all know the answer so the best the Rams can hoped for is to keep the score down. 3-0 to Home 

Balestier Khalsa vs Hougang United
Two games in the space of four days. Both teams will be tired as frankly both do not have a deep bench to call upon. A draw could satisfied both teams in such a situation as they looked to finish in the top half (Their targets at the start of the season). 2-2 draw 

Etoile FC vs Courts Young Lions
A lot of eyes will be on this game as the champions make their return since that Hougang incident. The French side will hoped for an easy game and they have it. I can see them beating the Cubs and so should most fans. 2-0 to the Champions 

Geylang United vs Albirex Niigata (S)
Just as they are in no shape to take on Hougang, I cannot see how the Eagles can be in shape to face the White Swans. If the White Swans play to their full potential, they will makan the Eagles and it will not be pretty. But what can the Eagles do as they now faced the question whether they make mistakes in releasing a few of the players at the end of 2010 season  3-1 to White Swans 

Home United vs Tampines Rovers
The Protectors was one of the teams to get points off the Stags during the Eastern side amazing run in the first round where they collected 29 out of 33 points. Since then, the Stags have dropped more points to allow their main rivals back and have been hit by injuries to key players. But more worrying is how much they rely on Duric as without him, they had a tough time against TPUFC, a side they should have makan. The S-league top scorer has scored 7 of the Stags 12 goals in the second round and in such big games the defence are key and Home defence look much better. Thus will be the Stags be able to handle Mendy and Qiu like what Home could well deal with the Stags top marksman (without anybody else to call upon). 2-1 to Home 

SAFFC vs Gombak United
The Warriors must defeat the Bulls and it is not a question of if or whether they should. The season is past it halfway point and games are running out and mistakes now will prove more costly than ever. If they drop the points now, the other contenders could well pulled away and the Warriors will pay for it at the end of the season. 3-1 to the Warriors 

Geylang United vs Woodlands Wellington
By now, the Eagles must have found their new forward. If not then what can I say other than - why did you release Peter Tomko for? In the last 5 years, since Duric departure, none of the forwards the Eagles have brought in have the same success as Peter Tomko. It showed us how difficult it is to find scoring forwards (especially at the right price). If the Eagles had somebody in mind who is better when they let him leave, I have nothing to say but it is clear they do not. 3-2 to Geylang 

TPUFC vs Etoile FC
Tanjong Pagar results have been getting better but even they know the chances they will get a result against Etoile FC is slim to none. It is not looking down on them but acknowledging the champions strength. The French side still have better players than the Jaguars. 2-0 to Etoile FC 

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Balestier Khalsa
Will the Japanese be in the title race? I am not convinced as yes, they have started to pull away from the mid-tier pack and is only a few points behind the top teams. But it is the matchup against the top teams that I need convincing. No doubt they have done well against the top sides recently but if I still believed once the top sides hit top gear, they may well pulled away from the Japanese side again. However if they finished in fifth place, it should be acknowledged as a successful season for the Jurong side. 3-2 to White Swans

Hougang United vs Gombak United
Frankly I see little to separate both sides and in their last meeting, both sides shown that. Up until a mixup between the Bulls keeper and defence, the Cheetahs could not break down the Bulls and in return the Bulls were not much better in breaking down the Cheetahs. A match that could be determine by those minor details so the safe route is a draw. 1-1 draw 

TPUFC vs Geylang United
Here is a match the Jaguars will be more confident they can get something from. The Eagles will have by now played 4 matches in 12 days and like most teams in the S-league, they do not have a bench to deal with that. The Jaguars should take advantage of that. 2-1 to the Jaguars 

Tampines Rovers vs Woodlands Wellington 
Let make this short. There will be one winner and it is not going to be the Rams. 5-0 to Tampines Rovers

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