Tampines Rover skipper Madhu Mohana says his team have worked hard for their S.League clash at home against title rivals Home United and that they are well-placed to end the latter's unbeaten run today.
After a dramatic few weeks in Singapore football, the focus is back on the turf and Jalan Besar Stadium is all set to host one of the most-anticipated matches of the eighth week between the two league giants. Home, under Aidil Sharin, have been unstoppable this season, winning five in seven matches to sit at the second spot with 17 points, with a game in hand over leaders Albirex Niigata, who have 22 points.
After becoming the only Singapore side to reach the zonal semi-final of 2017 AFC Cup, Home will be high on confidence as they take on Tampines, whom they had beaten twice in three meetings last season.
"This is an important game, we do not want Home and Albirex to run away from the rest of us. That was what happened last year, Albirex just ran away [with the title]," Madhu said, as quoted by The New Paper.
"It is important to get points tomorrow [Friday], because I think we have a good chance of winning the league. We have been training hard, and I think it is a really good chance that we have."
Despite crashing out of AFC Cup as early as in the group stages, Tampines have improved their league performances, remaining unbeaten in their last three outings. With only the S.League and Singapore Cup in their focus, lack of continental action can become a blessing in disguise for the third-ranked team, who are getting back to full squad as quite a few of their big names, including Madhu and Khairul Amri, have returned to full fitness.
Having conceded only four goals, the least in the league so far, Madhu and Co. have a tough task in hand as the likes of league top-scorer Stipe Plazibat and Faris Ramli have been in fine goal-scoring form for the Protectors.
"I have always wanted to be in a team that concede few goals, because that's how you win the league - with a solid defence. Both Home and us need the three points and it is a hard one to predict," centre-back Daniel Bennett added.
"They have improved from last year for sure, but we are getting back to a full squad, something we have not had all year."