S. League: Devastating DPMM

S. League: Devastating DPMM

TOP OF THE CLASS - BRUNEI DPMM

Far and away the brightest student is Brunei DPMM (1st, 28 points).

At the halfway stage of the 2014 Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League season, Steve Kean's men (right) sit pretty at the top and are firm favourites to lift the title in October.

They're the straight A students who get envious looks from classmates when the teacher hands out the grades.

Led by their "Ro-Ro" strike partnership of Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi (11 goals) and Irishman Roy O'Donovan (10 goals), DPMM have scored 30 times in just 11 games.

Even in their only defeat of the season - a 2-1 reverse against Tampines Rovers - the Bruneian side were the better side.

It's hard to imagine such a quality team slipping up to relinquish their place at the top.

NOT FAR BEHIND...

If - and this is a big if - DPMM trip up between now and the end of the season, there are a handful of teams who can take advantage.

WARRIORS FC

Credit has to be given to Warriors FC (2nd, 21 points). The sleeping giants of the S.League have finally woke up from their slumber.

The record eight-time champions have not won a title since 2009 and finished seventh in the last two seasons.

But they are contenders once more and, like DPMM, they've relied on a deadly foreign partnership - Croat Mirolsav Pejic and Argentinian Nicolas Velez have eight goals each - to fire them up the table.

Unlike the Bruneian side, though, who have conceded just five goals, Alex Weaver's side have shipped in 15, a figure equivalent to ninth-placed Woodlands Wellington's.

HOME UNITED

The other uniformed side, Home United (4th, 20 points), have blown hot and cold.

Their inconsistency saw them draw 1-1 with unfancied Courts Young Lions just five days after an impressive 4-1 win over the Warriors.

Aside from the win over Warriors, they have a woeful record against the title contenders, losing to Tampines, Albirex Niigata and DPMM.

TAMPINES ROVERS

Meanwhile, defending champions Tampines Rovers (3rd, 21 points) are desperately trying to keep up with DPMM in their bid for a fourth successive title.

But the Stags have looked far from indomitable this term and have dropped points against the likes of Hougang United, Woodlands Wellington and Tanjong Pagar.

A less-than-satisfactory AFC Cup campaign has seen coach Salim Moin resign, with former international Rafi Ali taking over the reins.

This is the third year in a row Tampines have replaced their head coach during the season, and they will hope that the end result is the same: The title in the bag.

But how long can 43-year-old goal machine Aleksandar Duric be counted on to bail out his teammates, many of whom are on the wrong side of 30?

ALBIREX NIIGATA

Age is not an issue for dark horses Albirex Niigata (5th, 20 points), however.

The Japanese club's squad have an average age of just 21.8 years and they've shown they can hold their own against the likes of Home, Tampines and DPMM.

But comprehensive defeats by the Warriors (4-0) and Hougang (3-1) show the White Swans have an erratic streak, too.

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