The Cheetahs new lineup will be severely tested this Friday night, when they take on an All-Star studded Brunei DPMM team at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan.
Hougang will be coming into this game as underdogs, as they look on to improve their record against the Wasps at their own backyard. Last season, the Wasps handed the Cheetahs their heaviest defeat, with a 5-1 thrashing. Mamadou Diallo providing a brace for the Cheetahs for that calamitous night.
The Cheetahs also failed to pick up any points against the Wasps last season, however, a note can be taken that the Cheetahs, then known as Sengkang Punggol did upset DPMM in Brunei, with a 1-0 win back in 2009. The scorer is nonetheless the mercurial striker Mamadou Diallo.
Although as a footballing nation, they might be minnows, however, with DPMM being backed by the Crown Prince of Brunei, they have been investing heavily on their squad. Dino Drpic and Ivan Bosnjak, both played for Croatia in Euro 2008, now leads the star studded team. Guadelopian winger Stephane Auvray and Portugese striker Joao Moriera joins Tales dos Santos, the only foreigner being retained in the Wasps’ lineup. Besides that, the Wasps are also blessed with great goalscorers in Azwan Salleh and Shahrazen Said, who had their fair share of goals last season, which led DPMM finish runners’ up in last season’s S.League campaign.
The Cheetahs have only one injury worry for this game; Jerome Baker have yet to recover from a knock which was sustained against Courts Young Lions.
With Tanjong Pagar, Tampines, Warriors FC and Balestier Khalsa making significant changes in their line-up to challenge for honours, Hougang will be most likely to look forward and stun DPMM in their own backyard, just like 2009.