Friday, March 23, 2012

Opponent Watch: Gombak United

Gombak United head into this next fixture on the back of an assuring 3 - 0 thumping of Tanjong Pagar and they must surely be brimming with confidence. On the flip side, our Rams have not won in 3 matches since our convincing display against Geylang United back in February. March has not been good for us so far and the boys will have to lick their wounds, remain positive and bounce back from this slump.

Train hard, fight easy.
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

Following the Balestier encounter last weekend, our Rams have slipped down to eight place and only one point separates us from Gombak, who lie one spot below us in ninth position. Having only played four matches so far, Gombak have a game in hand and we know they will definitely be going all out for a win to leapfrog past Woodlands.

The trip west to Jurong will also see former Bulls midfielder Aloysius Yap going up against his former team. While he is likely to start on the bench, the 24 year old will probably be deployed in the last third of the game to spice up the attack as he has convincingly done so in the last 2 matches against Tampines and Balestier. In his two seasons for Gombak, Aloy has made a total of 13 appearances for the Bulls, with 7 of them as a substitute and Bulls fans will definitely remember him for his spirited runs and selfless passing.

The Gombak faithful will certainly remember the dependable Aloysius.
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

Gombak will be fresh for this encounter, having received a bye for week 5. The Bulls will be relying on the on-form Mustaqim Manzur, who has scored in the last three Gombak fixtures. The 30 year old former international is known for his prowess down the right flank so it will be up to vice-captain Duncan Elias to snuff out Mustaqim's surging runs. Mustaqim has also shown that he is capable of cutting into the middle of the park to provide through balls for his attacking colleagues.

Our midfield will need to neutralize this eminent danger, something which will lie squarely on the shoulders of Armanizam Dolah and Shamsurin Abdul Rahman. It will be an interesting tussle in the middle of the pitch between Armanizam and former Burnley youngster Christopher Anderson, who has shown commendable control of the Bulls midfield so far. Both players will be attempting to win the midfield battle for their respective teams and it will certainly be exciting to watch.

Hussein will fancy his chances against Gombak.
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

Out in the front, it will also be a real feud between Gombak's rocksteady Aikhena Obadin against the skill of Moon Soon-Ho and the speed and guile of Hussein Akil. Balestier's Park Kang Jin has shown that Gombak's defence can be suspect when faced with speedy forwards as he fired home Balestier's goal against the Bulls. This is something the speedy Akil can definitely exploit.

United we stand, divided we fall!
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

Woodlands has spent almost the greater part of March on the road, with the exception of the upcoming home game against Hougang on 30th March. The Rams has been to three different stadiums so far, with Jurong West stadium on the cards next, and they will probably be dressed in blue once again for this encounter.

Based on our current form, we would once again be billed as the underdogs for the Gombak encounter. All the better, we say. An upset is always more gratifying than winning a match which we have been widely tipped to win anyway. So have you got your confetti ready for this next one?

Come On You Rams! Never Surrender!

Match Information
Date: Saturday, 24th March, 2012 (7.45pm kick-off)
Venue: Jurong West Stadium
Tickets: $5.00 (Adult), $ 1.00 (Student)

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Photo Credit: Aaron Chan (The Black Sheep)

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