Two title contenders will go all out to prove their credentials in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League this weekend — with a certain midfield enforcer taking centre stage
When LionsXII allowed captain Isa Halim to join S.League giant Tampines Rovers in June, V Sundramoorthy knew he had acquired the services of one of the best defensive midfielders in Singapore, despite two poor seasons blighted with injury.
It is no coincidence that Isa’s arrival has resurrected Tampines’ title challenge, with seven points from its last four matches.
Eager Stags must take down depleted Balestier
Having seen a three-match unbeaten streak come to an end in the 2-1 loss to Warriors FC last time out, Tampines will be keen to return to winning ways on Friday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium, especially against Balestier — missing its first-choice full-backs through injury.
Isa will partner Robert Alviz in the middle of the park, with the latter responsible for providing the assists to the 12-goal strike force of Mateo Roskam and Rodrigo Tosi.
If the Stags’ defence can stop Balestier striker Miroslav Kristic, a win by a slim margin is the likely outcome.
Prediction: Tampines 2-1 Balestier
Swandi brilliance not enough to trouble DPMM
Brunei DPMM will be desperate to claim victory against Courts Young Lions on Sunday night in Bandar Seri Begawan so it can keep pace with Albirex Niigata and Warriors FC.
With six wins and two draws in their last eight meetings, this should be a walk in the park for DPMM, especially with Rafael Ramazotti hungry to add to his league-leading 13-goal tally. The absence of Paulo Sergio will be a big loss, but Azwan Ali has proven to be an able replacement.
As for the visitors, one-time FC Metz player Adam Swandi has quietly carried his team forward. If the 19-year-old playmaker is allowed to run riot in attack, the Bruneians could be in for a rude shock.
Having said that, too much is on the line for DPMM so a comfortable home win is on the cards.
Prediction: Brunei DPMM 2-0 Courts Young Lions
By Kelvin Leong