Singapore Premier League • May 4, 2024

Albirex and Sailors vie for the first silverware of the new season!

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SINGAPORE, 4 MAY 2024 – As the Singapore Premier League (SPL) gears up for another thrilling season, reigning league champions Albirex Niigata (S) and Singapore Cup holders Lion City Sailors are set to clash in the 16th edition of the SPL Community Shield at Jalan Besar Stadium (JBS) this Saturday.

 

The traditional curtain raiser is set to be a rematch of the 2022 SPL Community Shield that saw the Sailors ran out 2-1 winners over their Japanese opponents.

 

SPL 2024/25 Community Shield | 4 May, 7pm | LIVE on Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch HS2,  MeWatch and SPL YouTube.

 

Head-to-Head:

Both Albirex and Sailors had commendable campaigns last year with the White Swans securing their sixth SPL title and the Sailors making waves in the AFC Champions League while clinching the 2023 Singapore Cup. Throughout the previous season, Albirex held the upper hand in their matchups against their rivals, securing victories in two out of their three encounters. Additionally, their paths crossed once again during the recent SPL Interim tournament in early March, where Albirex emerged victorious over a youthful Lion City Sailors side.

 

Albirex vs Sailors 2022 Community Shield

 

Key Players:

For the 2024/25 season, Albirex has transitioned to a local outfit whereby the club will compete with a squad comprising mostly of Singaporean players. Among their notable acquisitions is former Japan international Yojiro Takahagi, whose wealth of experience and midfield prowess are poised to bolster Albirex’s midfield and provide a vital backbone to the team’s structure.

 

Sailors will look to their talismanic playmaker Maxime Lestienne, who is the reigning SPL Player of the season to lead them to success once again. The Belgian will be looking to replicate his stellar form from last season where he netted 25 goals in 24 appearances and provided 21 assists for the Sailors.

 

Yojiro Takahagi will be a key player for the White Swans

 

New Faces:

Both teams are poised to unveil their latest acquisitions with the aim of enhancing their prospects for success.

 

Besides Takahagi, Albirex has also signed a core of seasoned campaigners such as Ho Wai Loon, Shuhei ‘Jumbo’ Hoshino and Daniel Goh in the hopes of strengthening their challenge on the league title.

 

Excitement is also brewing in the Sailors Camp as the Singapore Cup champions have added quality acquisitions for the forthcoming season. Dutchman Bart Ramselar and Croatian Toni Datkovic bring with them a wealth of experience from European leagues and will be seen as the catalysts for the Sailors’ quest for success. Additionally, the return of midfielder Song Ui-Young adds depth to Sailors’ midfield.

 

Bart Ramselar will be a player to watch for the Sailors

 

Men at the Helm:

Kazuaki Yoshinaga’s tactical prowess propelled Albirex to their sixth title in the last campaign and positioned him as one of the league’s most successful coaches. A victory on Saturday would mark his fourth SPL Community Shield win, a feat yet to be achieved.

 

Albirex Niigata (S) Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga

 

On the opposing side, Aleksandar Rankovic leads Sailors into a season brimming with challenges across multiple fronts and will be looking to begin the campaign with a piece of silverware.

 

Lion City Coach Aleksandar Rankovic

 

Team News:

Albirex Niigata (S): All players fit and ready to play

Lion City Sailors: New signings are set to feature in the match

 

Don’t miss the action from the SPL 2024/25 Community Shield and get your tickets via the FAS website (www.fas.org.sg/tickets).

 

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