Geylang International FC

Match Preview: Geylang International vs Balestier Khalsa

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Its back to league action for the Eagles this week, as Geylang International entertains Balestier Khalsa FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium. After performing heroics in the Starhub League Cup, the Eagles return to the league competition in an aim to finish the season on a high.

The Starhub League Cup saw Geylang International face four teams in the top six of the league and come out unbeaten. A 2-1 and 4-0 win over Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC respectively saw them comfortably go into the quarter finals where they defeated Japanese side, Albirex Niigata. The semi-final proved to be a step too far, as they were undone by Brunei DPMM on penalties. Even then, there was no way past the Eagles in 120 minutes of open play.

The Tigers, meanwhile, will be looking to recover from a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Tampines Rovers in the League Cup plate final. Their task will be made harder by the suspension of influential playmaker, Park Kang Jin.

The match is also set to be played again at the Jalan Besar Stadium, a ground, which has proved to be a fortress for the Eagles this season. Geylang Intenational have recorded five wins and two draws and will be looking to swoop in on another victory.

With Fabian Kwok having to sit out the match due to suspension, Shah Hirul is set to play a pivotal role in adding steel and flair to the midfield. Shah Hirul’s long ranged bullet passes could well be key to unlocking the Balestier backline. Franco Chivilo is also expected to be thrust back into the line-up after missing out of the semi-final clash with Brunei DPMM.

Speaking about the changes, Eagles’ head coach, Jorg Steinebrunner was adamant that both players would do a good job in Fabian’s absence.

“First of all, we have seen over the weeks that whenever we made changes, the players that have come in always have stepped up. I trust every player, from the first team down to the prime league boys. I am confident that Shah (Hirul) and Franco (Chivilo) will do well,” said the German.

With both sides languishing in mid table, Geylang International in 9th and Balestier at 7th, the clash at Jalan Besar could be a low key affair. A suggestion, which the Eagles head coach refuted.

He said: “We are professionals so we should always look to finish a season as good as we can. I don’t agree that there is nothing to play for.”

He continued: “We must always look for new challenges and the new challenge is to continue our fine form and finish as high as possible. That’s the incentive.  I will not accept people saying we have nothing to play for.”

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