Singapore Premier League • March 25, 2014

Battle of Midfield Superiority Between Rams and White Swans


Woodlands Wellington vs Albirex Niigata (S)

(March 26, Wednesday, 7.30pm, Woodlands Stadium)

Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Woodlands Wellington finally got the monkey off their back as they ended a run of three consecutive draws with a win over Tanjong Pagar United in their last game.

The Rams will look to keep the momentum going when they face Albirex Niigata (S) next, but it will be no easy task for the hosts.

Although Albirex has already lost twice this season, they also come into this game on the back of a morale-boosting 1-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa.

The Japanese side are really good at holding onto the ball, and Balestier suffered by not being able to conjure much chances as their opponents hogged the ball and prevented the Tigers from having much possession.

Having much possession, Albirex’s attackers Keisuke Ota and Kazuki Sakamoto may find many chances to run at their opponents and create goal scoring chances.

Darren Stewart’s side need to be alert, and intercept as many passes as possible. A pressing game may be implemented as Stewart’s coaching style involves pressuring the opponents whenever they have the ball.

The Rams are expected to be a danger from set pieces, as four of the six goals the Rams have scored this season so far have come from them.

This game promises to be exciting for both neutrals and supporters alike, with one team expected to show dominance in keeping possession and another posing a massive threat from set-pieces.

Key Men To Watch

Woodlands Wellington: Rosman Sulaiman

Not a regular goal-scorer, but Rosman Sulaiman has already bagged his first goal early this season against Courts Young Lions with a splendid corner kick which curled into the back of the net.

The skipper also has one assist to his name as he whipped in a delightful corner kick for Taufiq Ghani to head in against Tanjong Pagar United to give Woodlands their first win of the season.

The left-back has been a nightmare deal with for almost all the attackers he has faced, from Firdaus Idros to Kim Min Ho, and he is expected to do no different to the wingers from Albirex Niigata (S).

Albirex Niigata (S): Kazuki Sakamoto

Three of Albirex Niigata’s (S) goals were scored by Kazuki Sakamoto and the lethal forward has been the White Swans’ main threat with his intelligent position as well as clinical finishing.

Currently on a three-game scoring streak, the number 11 has hit the back of the net in every game which Albirex has scored. So, the frontman will certainly be a tough nut to crack for Milos Jevtic and Walid Lounis.

Woodlands Wellington – WDDDL

21/3/14    Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Woodlands Wellington

13/3/14    Courts Young Lions 2-2 Woodlands Wellington

28/2/14    Woodlands Wellington 1-1 Balestier Khalsa

22/2/14    Hougang United 2-2 Woodlands Wellington

4/11/13    Woodlands Wellington 3-6 Tampines Rovers

Albirex Niigata (S) – WLWLL

21/3/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

12/3/14    Hougang United 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

27/2/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 3-0 Harimau Muda

22/2/14    Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Brunei DPMM

4/11/13    Home United 3-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

Head to Head (S.League)

23/10/13  Albirex Niigata (S) 3-1 Woodlands Wellington

10/7/13    Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Woodlands Wellington

26/3/13    Woodlands Wellington 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

11/7/12     Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Woodlands Wellington

1/3/12       Woodlands Wellington 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

8/8/11       Woodlands Wellington 1-5 Albirex Niigata (S)

10/5/11     Albirex Niigata (S) 5-0 Woodlands Wellington

21/2/11     Woodlands Wellington 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)