Home United face a trip to Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday to take on arch-rivals Tampines Rovers in their eighth match of 2017 S.League season.
Tampines, who are two points adrift second-placed Home at 15 points, will be looking to end the Protectors' unbeaten league run. Having failed to beat Aidil Sharin's men last season (two loses and a draw), the Stags have a lot to prove when they take the field tomorrow.
Despite their AFC Cup campaign coming to an end as early as in the group stages, Tampines have stitched a three-match winning run in the league, beating Geylang International, Young Lions and Brunei DPMM, to climb the league table.
The Stags are boosted by returns of Khairul Amri and Song Yong Chan after the two missed out on action against Brunei on 28 April. Fit-again skipper Madhu Mohana will be joining Daniel Bennett at the back and the duo will be key to stop Home from running riot.
Despite scoring only 10 goals in the season, Tampines have been the best defensive unit, conceding only four - the least in the league. However, Madhu-led backline are likely to be tested as they have to face Stipe Plazibat, Home's wrecker-in-chief, who has set the season on fire with 11 league goals so far.
Apart from Plazibat, Faris Ramli and Khairul Nizam have been consistently performing for Home, who will look to extend their unbeaten league run. The Protectors' AFC Cup success will also motivate the team to earn a positive result on the road tomorrow but Sharin might be looking to rest some of their key players ahead of Tuesday's zonal-semi-final against Global FC.
Expect a fiercely-contested match tomorrow as both teams would not want a loss, which would see them slipping further behind leaders Albirex Niigata.
Possible XI: Mahbud; Taha, Madhu, Bennett, Hamzah; Son, Ayob, Hanapi, Shahdan, Megumi, Amri
Possible XI: Sunny; Camara, Yunos, Fandi, Jantan; Van Huizen, Abdullah, Ramli, Song, Khairullah, Plazibat