| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC may need to collect all three points off Tampines Rovers FC for the first time at Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight to realise their league title aspirations in the final fixture of the S League.
The ‘Gegar Gegar’ men do not enjoy a head-to-head comparison with Tampines Rovers having failed to win in each of the previous six occasions including a late 2-1 defeat on home soil at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium earlier this season.
DPMM FC are gunning for a first elusive title since returning to the S League while Warriors FC last tasted league silverware under the name Singapore Armed Forces Football Club in 2009.
The Bruneians need to match or better Warriors FC’s result to seal the title. Albirex Niigata (S), Warriors’s final-day opponents have promised to field a strong line-up while DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean may face a selection headache following striker Roy O’Donovan’s late sending-off.
DPMM FC’s head coach Steve Kean though has a selection dilemma at both ends of the pitch.
Abdul Aziz Tamit and Azwan Ali will be out through suspension along with O’Donovan.
Abdul Aziz’s suspension could mean a recall for Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman to partner alongside Boris Raspudic in the heart of the defence.
Azwan Ali’s immense presence with the team will be missed which presents thoughts to the head coach of who would be better suited to complement Rodrigo Tosi and Adi Said up front.
Meanwhile, Tampines Rovers will be without the services of Kunihiro Yamashita in what otherwise a full strength team.
The Stags could include long-serving veteran Aleksandar Duric in their starting line-up or play some part in the match for the eight-time S League winner’s final bow in competitive football.
The Brunei-based team will hope that they can spark joyous scenes which erupted in July when they won the Singapore League Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
DPMM FC are familiar with the ground particularly in the cup competitions and are widely considered their training base on their visits to Singapore.
They have scored 18 goals at the venue this season and also hold a good record as an away side that use the stadium as a home ground, losing only once in cup competitions.
Both sides will meet again at the 3rd place final of the Singapore Cup but DPMM FC will prefer that they can break their victory drought tonight for a place in the history books of the S League.
DPMM FC’s probable starting line-up: Azman Ilham Noor (GK), Azwan Salleh (MF), Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman (DF), Boris Raspudic (DF), Awangku Fakharrazi (MF), Hendra Azam (MF), Rosmin Kamis (MF), Roberto Alviz (MF), Joe Gamble (MF), Rodrigo Tosi (FW), Adi Said (FW).
Tampines Rovers FC’s probable starting line-up: Justin Pasfield (GK), Jufri Taha (DF), Ismadi Mukhtar (DF), Shaiful Esah (DF), Anaz Hadee (DF), Fahrudin Mustafic (MF), Shahdan Sulaiman (MF), Jacob Butler (MF), Ang Zhi Wei (MF), Noh Alam Shah (FW), Miljan Mrdakovic (FW).