Singapore Premier League • October 16, 2015

Kraljevic Wants Tigers To Right Record


Written By: Kenneth Ho

Balestier Khalsa vs Albirex Niigata (S)

(Friday, 16 October, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)

As the title race enters its final stages, both Balestier Khalsa and Albirex Niigata (S) will have little room for error when they face off.

Balestier are currently in second place, two points ahead of fourth-placed Albirex but the latter have two games in hand.

This will be the sixth time meeting this season between both teams, with Albirex enjoying a better head-to-head record with four wins and one loss.

Of those defeats to Albirex, three have seen Balestier miss out on The New Paper League Cup glory and the RHB Singapore Cup this year.

After so many bitter defeats, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic wants his charges to end their last meeting with the White Swans this season on a perfect note.

“We have played them so many times, but we want to win this and go the next level,” Kraljevic said.

“After playing them so many times, we learnt we cannot give them too much space. They are very quick and we must close them down quickly.”

Apart from long-term absentees Ho Wai Loon, Balestier will have a full squad to choose from while Albirex will be missing tricky winger Rion Taki due to suspension.

Suspension: Rion Taki (Albirex Niigata (S))

Key Men To Watch

Balestier Khalsa: Miroslav Kristic

As the race for the title heats up, so too does the Golden Boot award. It is fairly tight at the top of the scoring charts, with Kristic sharing top spot with Rafael Ramazotti and Fazrul Nawaz as all three have 14 goals.

While Albirex will be tough to break down, Krsitic should be motivated to claim the top scorer award for his own and he might just find a way past the tightest defence in the league, which has only conceded 11 goals in 19 games.

Albirex Niigata (S): Fumiya Kogure

Kogure is the undisputed midfield dynamo for the White Swans, with him running the engine room for them.

With his penetrative runs and eye for goal, Balestier might be in front another long night if they fail to contain the Japanese midfielder.

Balestier Khalsa – WLDDW

27/09/15  Harimau Muda 0-2 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)

22/09/15  Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Harimau Muda (S.League)

18/09/15  Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Geylang International (S.League)

13/09/15  Warriors FC 4-2 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)

29/08/15  Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Brunei DPMM (S.League)

Albirex Niigata (S) – WDDDW

02/10/15   Global FC 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

16/09/15   Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Brunei DPMM (S.League)

28/08/15   Hougang United 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

20/08/15   Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Home United (S.League)

17/08/15   Balestier Khalsa 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S) (Singapore Cup)

Head-to-Head (S.League)

23/07/15     Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Balestier Khalsa

20/03/15     Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

06/10/14     Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

08/06/14     Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)

21/03/14     Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Balestier Khalsa