Fired-up Tigers can't wait to roar at Kallang

Balestier Khalsa and Home United clash today at the National Stadium and the prospect of playing under the floodlights at the iconic dome in Kallang is one that excites the Tigers.

Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic said: "Apart from (Singapore international goalkeeper) Zaiful Nizam, the rest of the team have never played at the National Stadium. So the boys are looking forward to this game. It is a dream for footballers to play in a great stadium like this."

The Tigers will face a Home side high on confidence after the Protectors crushed Indonesian giants Persija Jakarta 6-3 on aggregate this week to reach the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Asean zone final.

Kraljevic will be without striker Keegan Linderboom, who has four goals in seven Singapore Premier League games, after the South African fractured his foot.

"It is a blow but any new player I call up must show what they can do," he said. "Home are really in good form but, hopefully, that form will end one day. We need 120 per cent to beat a team like Home."

Home coach Aidil Sharin is considering resting some of his players but he is likely to stick with the partnership of Shahril Ishak and South Korean Song Ui Yong.

Forward Shahril has 10 goals in 12 games while Korean midfielder Song has 12 goals in 12 games.

Aidil said: "I cannot always field the players in the same positions as opponents will know what to expect. I love to spring surprises.

"I have two good central midfielders in Izzdin (Shafiq) and Anu (Anumanthan Kumar). It makes sense to partner Song with Shahril. He is intelligent off the ball, strong and he can finish."

Wang Meng Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2018, with the headline 'Fired-up Tigers can't wait to roar at Kallang'. Print Edition | Subscribe