In their previous meetings this season, Tampines Rovers have maintained a perfect record against Hougang United with two wins out of two games. The Stags are also the only team in the S.League competition that have thus far avoided conceding a goal to the Cheetahs. That could all change on Saturday when the two sides meet for the third and final time this year at Jurong West Stadium.
Up to three key players could miss out on the game for Tampines Rovers. Left back and regular national team player Shaiful Esah was absent from Singapore’s 2:1 win over Cambodia on Tuesday night with an injury that might also affect his availabilty for the league game. Top scorer Mateo Roskam, with 10 goals in all competition, will be left out after collecting his fourth yellow card of the season. Centreback Fahrudin Mustafic, their third top scorer with 3 goals, will also be serving a suspension after receiving a red card two matches ago. Coincidentally, the two suspended players were the duo that scored all three goals in their 0:3 win over Hougang United back in July.
And yet, even in the absence of those key players, Tampines Rovers remain a formidable side. While the absence of a team’s top scorer is usually cause for concern, the Stags have another dependable striker in their midst to allay fears. The Brazilian forward Rodrigo Tosi has scored 9 goals in all competition and could overtake Mateo’s haul with a brace. His compatriot Rodrigo Pachecho has impressed between the posts with an average of 0.78 conceded goals per game, the second lowest in the league behind only Albirex Niigata’s Yosuke Nozawa.
In centre midfield, Roberto Alviz has accumulated the highest number of assists in the league with 11 to his credit. 3 of those were from games against the Cheetahs. He averages 1 assist every 145 minutes or 0.62 assist per 90 minutes. To put that in perspective, only one other player in the league currently have an assist average above 0.5 per 90 minutes and that’s Hougang United’s own Carlos Delgado with 0.54, or 7 assists in all competition at the rate of 1 every 167 minutes.
The match with Tampines Rovers will kick off a challenging run of four games in ten days for Hougang United, including bouts against the current league leaders Brunei DPMM and the defending champions Warriors.
Tampines Rovers F.C. vs Hougang United F.C.
2015 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League
17th October 2015, Saturday
7:30 pm, Jurong West Stadium