S-League side Tampines Rovers will head to India looking to gain a first-leg advantage against Bengaluru. We take a look at some of the individual battles that could influence the outcome….
Jermaine Pennant vs Juanan Gonzalez
The former Premier League star still has plenty to offer at the age of 33 whether playing on the wing or in central midfield as he was employed in a recent cup game against Ceres.
A threat when running directly at the opposition at pace, experienced Spanish defender Gonzalez and his defence will have to marshall Pennant well. Conceding fouls around the box will present the ex-Arsenal man with dead-ball opportunities from which he can be so effective.
Yasir Hanapi vs Cameron Watson
Hanapi will come face to face with Bengaluru’s recent signing from Australia. The former A-League midfielder has AFC Champions League experience and his tussle with Hanapi for control of the centre of the park could prove vital over the two legs.
John Johnson vs Billy Mehmet
Target man Mehmet plays a pivotal role in the Stag’s attack, holding up the ball and bringing others into play with clever flicks and touches. He also chips in with his fair share of goals. Fan favourite Johnson, a no-nonsense centre back, will need to stop Londoner Mehmet from leading the line in what promises to be an exciting matchup between the two Englishmen.
Sunil Chhetri vs Mustafic Fahrudin
Tampines skipper Mustafic will need all his guile and strength if he is to stop Chhetri from getting on the scoresheet. The 32-year old India international is a legend and has scored wherever he has played. With two goals in the last round against Kitchee, the Stag’s talismanic captain will have to be at his dominant best.