Depleted Geylang and Tampines face off
Saturday night's Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League clash between Geylang International and Tampines Rovers presents an intriguing contest.
In one corner is a Tampines side who will play their third match in a week, and battling fatigue.
In the other, a Geylang outfit who have not played a competitive game for over a month because of the international break.
On paper, it appears the fresher Eagles have the upper hand, but coach Hasrin Jailani insists this is not the case.
"Yes, you can say we had a long break, but I have a bit of an injury crisis to manage," said the former Singapore international.
"A number of my players picked up injuries during the past one month, so in the end, we used the break mainly to recover.
"Tampines players may be fatigued but, if you look at the quality of their local players, I don't think it will be a big problem for them."
Among Hasrin's walking wounded racing against time to recover before Saturday's game are defenders Faritz Hameed, Al-Qaasimy Rahman and Yuki Ichikawa, midfielders Nor Azli Yusoff, Shawal Anuar and Ricardo Sendra.
Tampines coach Juergen Raab is facing selection problems of his own.
Yes, you can say we had a long break, but I have a bit of an injury crisis to manage.Geylang International coach Hasrin Jailani
His goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, defender Madhu Mohana, midfielders Hafiz Rahim, Ismadi Mukhtar and Imran Sahib, and striker Khairul Amri are all nursing injuries.
The Stags' morale was also dealt a double blow after they lost 1-0 to Warriors FC at the Jurong West Stadium in wet conditions last Saturday, before going down 2-1 to Vietnam side Hanoi FC in an AFC Cup Group G match at the Jalan Besar Stadium three days later.
Raab told The New Paper: "On Saturday, we played on a very soft pitch at Jurong West because of rain, and then on Tuesday, we played on the hard (artificial) surface at Jalan Besar.
"It's not easy for the players to play on different surfaces, especially when they do not have enough time for recovery.
"But this is the situation, and those are the problems we have now.
"What is important is we have to try and recover well and prepare for Geylang.
"I'm confident we can play with confidence because we played a really good match on Tuesday."