News • April 2, 2016

Cheetahs Keen To Cement Position At The Summit

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Albirex Niigata (S) vs Hougang United
(Saturday, 2 April, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)

Written by: Aysha Ridzuan

Albirex Niigata (S) will host league leaders Hougang United in their first home of their 2016 Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season at Jurong East Stadium on Saturday night.

The Cheetahs who are currently leading the table with 10 points before the international break, will be keen to retain their position while the White Swans will be looking to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to Warriors FC last month.

Before the start of the season, Hougang’s aim was to finish in the top half of the league and so far, things seem to be going according to plan. In fact, they may not even have expected to be at the top of the league at this stage of the season.

The Cheetahs have taken advantage of other teams’ inconsistency and the game against Albirex is a chance for them to extend their lead especially when they have most of the squad available on Saturday.

However, midfielder Raihan Rahman could be a doubt for the game after suffering a slight injury on his ankle. Yusiskandar Yusop, who was not included in the team in the previous match could return.

Meanwhile, Albirex who had a promising start of the season, will need to start converting their chances to get back to winning ways after their unbeaten run was broken by Warriors last month.

The attacking department of Jurong East-based side should be a concern for coach Naoki Nauro as they have only scored once in their last three games. But they should never be underestimated and playing at home will be an advantage for them.

Key Men To Watch

Albirex Niigata (S): Masaya Jitozono

The 26-year-old has played an important part in the Japanese side this season and he has been unstoppable, causing problems for almost every opponent’s backline he has faced so far.

Hougang United: Jozef Kaplan

Stipe Plazibat may have scored five games in as many games for the Cheetahs this season but captain, Kaplan played some parts in some of the goals even though he has yet to find of the back of the net this season.

However, it is only a matter of time for the Slovakian to score his first goal this year.

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWDDL

18/03/16  Warriors FC 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
10/03/16  Geylang International 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
27/02/16  Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
20/02/16  Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
13/02/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 3-2 Brunei DPMM (S.League)

Hougang United – WLDWW

19/03/16  Hougang United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
10/03/16  Garena Young Lions 1-3 Hougang United (S.League)
04/03/16  Hougang United 0-0 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
26/02/16  Tampines Rovers 4-1 Hougang United (S.League)
18/02/16  Hougang United 1-0 Home United (S.League)

Head-to-Head (S.League)

20/11/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Hougang United
28/08/15 Hougang United 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
01/05/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Hougang United

05/06/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Hougang United
12/03/14 Hougang United 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S)