Home United will be looking for a positive reaction when they take on Geylang International in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) on Sunday.
The Protectors were dealt a huge blow to their title ambitions when reigning champions Albirex Niigata FC (S) put six past them at Bishan on Wednesday.
Geylang are also in need of a boost after a stuttering start to the 2018 campaign which sees them winless after four games.
BACKGROUND: Both teams come into this game on the back of heavy defeats, with Geylang suffering a 4-1 reverse at the hands of Brunei DPMM FC on Tuesday while Home fell 6-1 to reigning champions Albirex Niigata FC (S) a day later.
The result condemned the Protectors to their second straight SPL loss as they lie in sixth place, a whopping nine points behind leaders Albirex after three games played. Their only win this season came in a 3-1 victory over Balestier Khalsa FC in their opening game.
With a league form that leaves much to be desired, Aidil Sharin’s side will have to buck up sooner rather than later or risk losing sight of the leading pack.
Reflecting on the defeat to the White Swans, veteran full-back Juma’at Jantan is keen for his side to get their season back on track with all three points against Geylang.
“The game against Albirex is one that we want to quickly put behind us,” said the 34-year-old.
“Everything that could go wrong, went wrong and basically nothing went our way. It’s definitely painful to lose in such a manner when you know you have the quality and players with potential in your team (to get something).
“For our next game, we can’t afford any lapses in concentration; each and every one of us need to stick to the game plan and put in our 100 percent.”
Geylang meanwhile, have not tasted victory in four games. After a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Warriors FC in their first match, they would then suffer three straight losses to find themselves second from bottom in the standings.
Under Hirotaka Usui, the Eagles have struggled to get in their groove with the lack of cutting edge costing them games and have not found the net more than once in a game so far.
It is something Geylang Captain Anders Aplin is eager to put an end to.
“It’s never easy going through a rough patch… The results have not been going our way but I don’t think it’s a fair reflection of the effort and performances of the team,” he said.
“In each of the games, we’ve been undone by conceding early goals and perhaps it’s a matter of settling into the game early.”
Seven goals in this one as @Albirex Niigata FC Singapore put six past Home United Football Club to continue their unbeaten run in the 2018 Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League.
Posted by FOX SPORTS Asia on Wednesday, 18 April 2018
TEAM NEWS: Goalkeeper Basil Chan is a doubt for Geylang after sustaining an injury against Tampines Rovers FC in their 3-1 reverse, while Home will continue to be without the services of defender Abdil Qaiyyim.
Song Ui-Young will be available for selection for Home, but it remains to be seen if the South Korean midfielder – who was sidelined with a hamstring strain – will be risked, especially with a crucial AFC Cup tie against Ceres-Negros FC coming up next Wednesday.
04/11/17: Home 2-1 Geylang – Singapore Premier League
23/09/17: Geylang 1-3 Home – Singapore Premier League
28/04/17: Home 3-0 Geylang – Singapore Premier League
25/10/16: Geylang 4-1 Home – Singapore Premier League
18/07/16: Geylang 0-5 Home – League Cup
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR:
Azhar Sairudin – Geylang
Blessed with an eye for a pass, the former Hougang United FC man has been Geylang’s main creative force this season. Pulling the strings from midfield, Azhar has also helped to get his teammates involved with the likes of Ryan Syaffiq and Shawal Anuar the main beneficiaries of his service.
Aqhari Abdullah – Home
A central midfielder by trade, his versatility as well as tenacity has seen him take up full-back positions.
While hardly the most adventurous, he has been effective in shutting out opposing wingers who have found it difficult to find a way past him. He did not have the best of outings against Albirex and will be looking for an improved display this time.
WHAT ELSE THEY SAID:
Geylang Captain Anders Aplin: “We’re facing some very strong teams in the upcoming weeks so it’s crucial that the team sticks together and stays united. If we can do that and work on our mistakes, I’m confident we can turn the tide and get a good result.
“I’ve told the guys that we have to keep our heads up and not let the past results affect our confidence. We must continue to put in the hard work on the training ground and believe in ourselves.”
Home defender Juma’at Jantan: “We will show the same respect to every team that we face and give the same commitment for every game. Sometimes the results just don’t go our way, and that is football.
“We definitely need to reflect on the previous games, focus on our strengths and work on our weaknesses. It is not too late to bounce back.”