Harimau Muda ‘B’ vs Tanjong Pagar United (May 14, Tuesday, 4.45 p.m, Pasir Gudang Stadium)
The first match of the week will see the league’s highest scorers play the second-lowest goal-getters at Pasir Gudang. Tanjong Pagar have scored 23 goals, while Harimau Muda ‘B’ have only afforded slightly less than half of that tally with 12. The last time they met, Tanjong Pagar were on hot-scoring form, scoring nine in two games, but it was the Malaysian Tigers that halted that scoring form as they held the Jaguars to only a single goal in a 1-1 affair.
Form-wise, Harimau Muda have lost three of their last five games while Tanjong Pagar won three of their last five, including a narrow victory over reigning champions Tampines Rovers. They will however have to do without goalkeeper Aurelien Herisson, who saw red against Balestier Khalsa last time out; Shamsudin Hasim should fill in, while the inspirational Ahmad Latiff also sits this out due to suspension.
Statistically, the Jaguars have a very strong record on the road, scoring 17 goals when they travel. But, they will be playing under the fury of the sun at 4.45 p.m, in Pasir Gudang. Will they be able to play as they always do?
The importance of Kamel Ramdani, Monsef Zerka and Ismael Benahmed cannot be further emphasized. Ramdani and Zerka have played every possible minute this season while Benahmed has missed only 20 minutes of action. This coincidentally also makes them the club’s top three players with the most game-time so far and it is no surprise they share 20 goals amongst themselves.
The narrow defeat to Albirex would serve as a strong motivating factor for Razip Ismail’s young boys. Unfortunately, their home ground has not been a fortress this season, part of the cause being the timing at which the matches are played at.
Nevertheless, the tenacity and enthusiasm of the youngsters are complimented by the philosophy of the team which emphasizes on retaining possession and pressuring the opposition. The speed and agility of Maxsius Musa could be crucial in the hosts' chances of breaching the Jaguars defence.
Last five games
Tanjong Pagar: DWLWL
Tanjong Pagar: Aurelien Herisson, Ahmad Latiff