News • April 8, 2016

Protectors Seek To Tame The White Swans


Written by: Aysha Ridzuan

Home United vs Albirex Niigata (S)
(Friday, 8 April, 7.45pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Home United will be the designated host this Friday as they welcome Albirex Niigata (S) at Jalan Besar Stadium in a much-anticipated match.

The Protectors grabbed three points last week in a scrappy 1-0 win against Balestier Khalsa with Ken Ilso scoring from the spot for the only goal of the match.

Meanwhile, the White Swans will be looking to extend their lead after overtaking Hougang United to return to the top of the table, while Home are currently sixth in the league, three points from the top.

“This year, every team has been very competitive and there’s no such thing as an easy game,” said Protectors coach Philippe Aw.

“We have played Albirex five times last year so I think on Friday will be a very close game and full of action.”

Despite having a fairly good start of the season so far, Aw felt that his team had a little setback in their performance against the Tigers last week and he expects his side to do better on Friday.

“Since the start of the season, we have been playing well except the last match (against Balestier) we didn’t do very well.

“But towards the end of the game, we can see that the team was very motivated to win. So I hope that we can work as a team and show desire against Albirex.

“A hundred percent team effort can get us the three points on Friday.”

As for the White Swans, the Japanese side took full advantage of their new pitch at Jurong East Stadium last week to upset the Cheetahs, who struggled to deal with the pitch.

Naoki Nauro’s side have always enjoyed playing on good turf, like their own and at Jalan Besar Stadium, as they get to display their fast, possession-based football.

Albirex have no major injury problems, but Home will continue to miss Faris Ramli and Azhar Sairudin, who are suffering from groin and knee injuries respectively.

The Protectors will also be without Ikhsan Fandi because of national service, while brother Irfan could play a part or two in last game for Home before national service.

Key Men To Watch

Home United FC: Abdil Qaiyyim

The Protectors’ defence will be put to test against the pressing White Swans and Abdil would be the man to take on the task.

Playing an important role at the back alongside captain Juma’at Jantan, he has showed that he’s capable of stopping any dangerous run from the opponent.

Albirex Niigata FC (S): Kento Nagasaki

The White Swans have had some of their goals scored from either Nagasaki’s corner or free-kick. His accuracy and vision are not the taken easily by any team. Home  may want to avoid fouls that could lead to Albirex having the advantage against them.

Home United – LDLWW

03/04/16  Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United (S.League)
13/03/16  Home United 4-1 Garena Young Lions (S.League)
11/03/16  Brunei DPMM 2-1 Home United (S.League)
03/03/16  Home United 1-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
18/02/16  Hougang United 1-0 Home United (S.League)

Albirex Niigata (S) – WDDLW

01/04/16  Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United
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)

Head to Head (S.League)

20/08/15  Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Home United
22/04/15  Home United 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
24/10/14  Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Home United
21/08/14  Home United 4-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
27/04/14  Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Home United