Daniel Bennett
Daniel Bennett  (R) will be crucial to Tampines' chances in the absence of Madhu Reuters

Tampines Rovers host Hougang United at the Jalan Besar Stadium in their second S.League 2017 outing on Friday.

The Stags will look to bounce back from season-opening defeat to defending champions Albirex Niigata in their first home game of the season. Jüergen Raab's men saw three reds and also were at the receiving end of a controversial decision from referee, who disallowed striker Ivan Dzoni's spot kick in the second half of their 2-1 loss.

Last week's defeat was their second major negative result against Albirex, as the Tampines also lost the Singapore Cup final last season against the White Swans. Dzoni reportedly echoed his team's disappointment, saying they were gutted when he was denied a chance to put his team in a commanding position with a 2-0 lead against Albirex.

Tampines have had a mixed season so far, losing their AFC Champions League qualification round one to Global FC, bouncing back with a win in their AFC Cup opener against Felda United last month and then losing their Community Shield to Albirex. Raab will be under pressure to create a positive environment in the dressing room, especially when they will face in-form Hougang without Madhu Mohana, Yasir Hanapi, Ismadi Mukhtar, who are facing suspensions.

It is the right time for Hougang to get consecutive wins under their belt. Philippe Aw will be pleased with the way his team demolished Geylang International 2-0 in their opening encounter last week. Goals from Fumiya Kogure and Iqbal Hussain and a solid work at the back from Atsushi Shirota-led defensive made sure they collected three points at home.

Both teams, among the favourites to clinch the title, will not want to lose tomorrow's match as a win will help them give an early glimpse of their positive intentions for the rest of the season.

Team News

Tampines

Possible XI: Mahbud; Shah, Bennett, Sahib, Yong-Chan, Ali, Mustafic, Hamid, Hansol, Amri, Megumi

Hougang

Possible XI: Khalid; Shirota, Shamsuddin, Sairudin, Kogure, Nazari, Arifin, Mohan, Noor; Miswan, Rodriguez