After the Lions XII brought MSL glory to all Singaporeans, the S.League fixture returns for Hougang on Thursday, as they travel to the Queenstown Stadium to face the Jaguars.
This would be another difficult test for the Cheetahs, especially at the back of a four game winless streak in June, in which the Cheetahs draw thrice in the League Cup and defeats against Geylang International and Woodlands Wellington.
Although the haze factor can be a reason of lack of match preparation during the defeat against Woodlands, however, they did dominate the game initially against the Rams, however, the chances the Cheetahs had during the game were limited to long distance shots and also chances were proved futile when given a golden opportunity.
However, with the addition of Igor Cerina, who played a Vidic-like role against Woodlands, looking calm and steady at the back and addition of aerial power during setpieces, the Croatian would be a bigger threat for the Jaguars’ defence in this game.
The Jaguars had one off season signing, former national player John Wilkinson joining from Salgoacar SC, however, the strength of the Jags starting eleven might be too strong for him.
The Jags might be third in the standings, but three straight draws might be a worry for the team, as they tend to concede goals late in the game. However, the foreign attacking legion of Ismael Benahmed, Monsef Zerka and Kamel Ramdhani might compensate the defensive problems with more goals.
However, Hougang’s main threat to the defence would be Hafiz Nor. The winger has been a revelation of late, scoring six goals so far. With darting runs and screamers coming through for him, the rejuvenated winger might be the main fulcrum for the Jags to finally win some silverware after a fifteen year silverware absence.
However, as results shows, the Cheetahs tend to play better against teams way higher up than them, so expect a tough game for both teams, as they continue their ascend in the league table.