News • June 24, 2016

Pressure On Stags To Halt White Swans Title Surge


Written by: Rashid Sulaiman

Tampines Rovers vs Albirex Niigata (S)

(Friday, 24 June 2016, 8pm, Jurong West Stadium)

Can Great Eastern-Yeo’s S.League leaders Albirex Niigata (S) extend their lead at the summit or will second-placed Tampines Rovers reduce the gap with the former when the two meet on Friday night at the Jurong West Stadium?

The White Swans are currently on 38 points, seven points ahead of their closest rival Tampines. But the Stags are have not given up on the title chase as they showed a penchant for goal ever since Akbar Nawas took over coaching duties from V.Sundram Moorthy.

Although Tampines have scored 15 goals in their last five competitive matches, they have leaked seven goals at the back. For Albirex, they only conceded five goals while scoring 18 goals in their last five S.League matches.

Even Albirex are currently on a 10-match winning streak, their coach Naoki Naruo feels that it won’t be an easy game for his charges.

“Our next game is against Tampines and that will be a very difficult game. We have to focus on that game before thinking about the championship,” said Naoki.

The Japanese outfit will no doubt be banking on the League’s top scorer Atsushi Kawata to to add on to his season’s tally of 12 goals with attacking midfielder Tatsuro Inui continuing his fine form in the middle of the park and sending crucial balls to the final third.

While this presents the perfect opportunity for Tampines to put a dent to Albirex’s title-surge, Akbar does not want any unnecessary load on his players.

“I don’t want to give unnecessary pressure to the players. We will take a game at at time,” said Akbar.

“In any job that we undertake the pressure will be there. Everybody expect us to have a certain amount of expectations and for us to challenge for the title,” explained Akbar who will be missing midfielder Yasir Hanapi due to suspension.

Suspension: Yasir Hanapi (Tampines Rovers)

Tampines Rovers – DWWWW

17/06/16 Balestier Khalsa 2-3 Tampines Rovers

14/06/16  Tampines Rovers 6-1 Garena Young Lions (S.League)

11/06/16  Tampines Rovers 4-3 Brunei DPMM (S.League)

24/05/16  Mohun Bagan 1-2 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)

17/05/16  Warriors FC 0-0 Tampines Rovers (S.League)

Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWWW

18/06/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 5-2 Home United

15/06/16  Hougang United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

10/06/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 3-2 Warriors FC (S.League)

20/05/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Geylang International (S.League)

06/05/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 6-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)

Head to Head (S.League)

16/04/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Tampines Rovers

13/11/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Tampines Rovers

06/05/15 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)

02/03/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Tampines Rovers

17/09/14 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)