Match Preview: Eagles Hope for an Improbable Victory Against the Sailors
Our Tampines Hub is set for an electrifying atmosphere this Friday (March 4) as Geylang International host Singapore Premier League defending champions Lion City Sailors in the season opener.
With wholesale changes to the Eagles squad during the off-season, Geylang International are determined to put an underwhelming 2021 season behind them and look forward to a good result against Lion City Sailors. Notable debutants such as the quartet of foreign signings - Vincent Bezecourt, Rio Sakuma, Takahiro Tezuka, Šime Žužul - and newly-signed local players like Hazzuwan Halim and Suria Prakash hope to win over the fans with a positive performance. Fans are also excited to witness the return of Joshua Pereira and Huzaifah Aziz, having impressed in their previous stints with the club.
The Eagles face an uphill task in the season opener, with 14 consecutive defeats since their last victory over the Sailors on October 26, 2016. Lion City Sailors resemble the Singapore national team with quality foreign players in their ranks. One particular name stands out is the 1.98m Kim Shin-wook, a former Korean international. His tall frame and dominance in the air would cause problems to the Geylang defence. To have any chance of grinding a positive result, the Eagles defenders would have to be at their best in snuffing out his aerial threat and deadly finishing.
Team news: Abdil Qaiyyim misses this game due to a yellow card suspension. There are no reported injuries from the Eagles camp, presenting Noor Ali with a fully fit squad to choose for his starting 11.
Player to watch: Vincent Bezecourt - The 28-year-old French attacking midfielder made 22 appearances for the New York Red Bulls registering one goal and one assist from 2017 to 2019. Bezecourt was also part of the Alashkert squad which won the Armenian Premier League in 2021. He also appeared against Rangers in the UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round during that season.