Match Preview: Eagles Embroiled in Battle of the Wooden Spoon


Photo credit: Idi Bakhtiar

Though the Singapore Premier League does not have a relegation system, the team that finishes last at the end of the season would suffer the ignominy of receiving the wooden spoon.


That scenario looks plausible for the second-from-bottom Geylang International when they host cellar dwellers Young Lions at Our Tampines Hub this Tuesday (June 21).


With six points from their first 11 matches, the Eagles are enduring their worst start to the campaign since the club rebranded as Geylang International in 2013.


Their three-point gap over the bottom team is no comfort, as they have played three games more with a vastly inferior goal difference.


A loss to Young Lions would sent the club tumbling to the bottom of the league, an unwelcome prospect for the former league champions.


Despite being an Under-23 developmental side, Young Lions have proved to be more than a match for Geylang International.


Earlier in the season, the away team had humbled the Eagles 4-1, which remain their only victory in the campaign.


That heavy defeat severely damaged Geylang International's season aspirations, causing disquiet among the fanbase. That had prompted the club to immediately issue a social media statement assuring fans of an improved performance in subsequent fixtures.


Despite the best efforts from the men in green, they yielded only one point from the next four games - a dismal run attributed to the players' inability to finish off their chances.


Repeated vows from the Eagles camp to raise their game and turn their season around have been made and broken.


Hopefully those overdue promises can finally be delivered on Tuesday night, as anything less than a win against a bottom-placed developmental side would be difficult to bear for many Geylang International fans.


Team news: Huzaifah Aziz sits out for this fixture as he serves a one-game suspension for his sending off during the Eastern derby.


He is joined on the sidelines by Fadli Kamis who continues with his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.


Player to watch: Zaiful Nizam - With team morale suffering a blow after back-to-back losses to Albirex Niigata and Tampines Rovers, it calls for a leader to rally his charges and whip them into shape. That responsibility falls on the shoulders of the team captain Zaiful Nizam. Having conceded 10 goals in the previous two defeats, the veteran goalkeeper also hopes to inspire his team to their third clean sheet of the season.

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