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Prematch Warmups: Hougang United vs tanjong pagar united - sg cup

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Deja-Vu? Feels like Hougang have played them for the 5th time already this season or something. But likely it’s just due to recency bias in the sense that the final home game in the SPL season for the Cheetahs was a game against the Jaguars at home. This very picture as the cover of this short preview just entails how I couldn't believe I had to watch us play against the Jaguars again. They might not be the strongest team on paper but there is just something about the team that ends up making me feeling dreadful.

Firstly I would like to point out that the team is lucky that they would have some breathing space from our AFC Cup game against FC Sabah.

At the time of writing this, I have already witnessed the clash between Sabah and Hougang United. In relation to the match fitness of players would be that Tanjong Pagar United will not be playing continental football before playing the Cheetahs, and whether that would be to our advantage is in the air especially when many of our Cheetahs were looking quite gassed towards the 60th minute mark before more substitutions were being made. There’s still quite a few days for recovery too and maybe playing against a side whose tempo was quicker and players more physical, could help the players in terms of sizing up against the Jaguars.

Quick Recap on our previous outing: 3-3 and it’s a tie…..yeah this was the game that I think most fans attended and hoped to see out 3 points especially it being the final home game for the league campaign. Looking back at the first 2 goals scored by us, it was simply beautiful. I don’t care what people think about the quality of the SPL but the second goal scored by Amy was scrumptious and just pure brilliance. The first goal however was Maksimovic doing a really good job of getting into the box with the ball only to be clipped by Tajeli, and of course this meant that a penalty was in the way to Kiki which no questions asked, was converted of course! But the second half was a different story all together, this is just going to be a brief recap so for those of you who want to get a deeper insight to that game checkout the tactical review here. Back to the second half, and right at the beginning a fantastic play from the Jags warranted them a goal to close the gap. We then continued by letting Nazrul score a goal to top it off with his customary celebration. But before the 90, we had allowed 2 goals to get past Zaiful. Not a great game at all and credit to our opponent for taking the chances when they had it in front of them.

I remember talking to the rest of the Matchday Squad, how disappointed I was with the ending to this game but overall it was still a decent performance albeit not a great one.

Recent form and their latest game:

Heading into this fixture I think it’s important to once again, look at the recent form of Tanjong Pagar United, and from that we would take a look at their final game at the end of the season at their den against the inconsistent DPMM. In that game it was considered somewhat important as a win would allow them to leapfrog DPMM to be at 7th. I remembered actually watching that game and as usual, Tanjong Pagar United relied on setpieces to gain foot into opponent territory but 1 player who stood out that day had to be Naqquidin Eunos, his movement and dribbling was pretty good that game. They had their moments and DPMM had theirs too, honestly quite an even game however

I thought that Sugic was really poor that game. Tanjong Pagar as mentioned before can always give you a good fight and they sure do, on paper their squad isn’t the strongest but their physicality can give teams a struggle.

Overall this game should be a well contested one and hopefully we can win some points considering the strong teams in our group. Looking ahead for our lineups, it seems likely that our striker in Maksimovic retains his spot. Everything else could change of course, as we are still predicting here. In the AFC Cup game against Sabah it was evident that we were trying to field a team that had players with the experience in such big games, at the back Jordan was dropped for Nazrul while our backline of Kazzuma Takayama, Naoki Kuriyama and Anders Aplin was unchanged. Midfield saw a change to, forming a midifield 3 with Zulfahmi and Irwan Shah as the midfield base and Shahdan Sulaiman completing the midfield. Then on the left was our maestro Krajcek and on the right, Gabriel.

Playing against Tanjong Pagar, we could see Nazrul going back to his right wing role which some of us fans agree that he has been better at. Meaning Jordan comes back into the mix, while our midfield or Irwan Shah and Zulfahmi is always nearly unchanged the question lies in whether Shahdan starts or not, but looking at some of his performances and even in the AFC Cup game, personally I felt that he is more than capable of starting again. And for the front three, I would really hope for Gabriel to just start one more time in this game despite his poor outing in Sabah. Leaving us of course Kiki on the left and Maksimovic leading the lines.

It's the redeem team

The battle isn’t over yet and it’s just the beginning, with a poor start to our league campaign and a loss in our first AFC Cup game this year, I am sure the Singapore Cup would be within the sights of our Cheetahs again. It is never easy to bounce back from poor results but the boys have shown in the recent game that they have the willingness to play with semangat. Should they play like this in the 2 cup tournaments left for them, they will definitely be the team to look out for. Play your hearts out like always and send a statement that the Cheetahs are back to redeem themselves.


Tanjong Pagar Quick Report:

-Tanjong Pagar eager to gain points from us

-Very physical side

-Chance for some players to still be tired

-Shahdan's performance will be interesting to watch

-Finishing and individual mistakes are to be improved on

Who do you think will win?

  • 0%Cheetahs

  • 0%Jaguars

How do you think we will line up?

  • 0%4-4-2

  • 0%5-3-2

  • 0%4-2-3-1

  • 0%4-5-1

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