Singapore Premier League • June 7, 2014
Tigers Seek Revenge Against Albirex
Balestier Khalsa vs Albirex Niigata (S)
(June 8, Sunday, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Balestier Khalsa do battle with the White Swans of Albirex Niigata (S) at Toa Payoh Stadium as the former looks to avenge for their 1-0 loss earlier in the season.
After blowing hot and cold this season, the Tigers have since turned the corner in recent games and currently sit seventh in the standings, four points behind Hougang United.
In their last match, Balestier swept aside Tanjong Pagar United 3-0 as Kim Min Ho, Goran Ljubojevic and Park Kang Jin scored one each in a well-deserved win.
Park’s return to the team has been timely, and coincided with a change in the Tigers’ fortunes. The South Korean has scored two goals in four games since his return, while providing assists for his compatriot Kim Minho as well.
On their day, Albirex are capable of playing some good football to entertain their fans. However, it remains to be seen which Albirex side turns up, as their insipid 1-0 loss to Hougang United in their last game showed.
Recent encounters have been low-scoring affairs and this could be the same which suggests Balestier would likely counter the attacking threat from Albirex by setting out with a defensive outlook and hit on the break.
Key Men To Watch
Balestier Khalsa: Park Kang Jin
The man who makes Balestier tick is back, and his value cannot be understated in any way. The range of passing Park has is superb, and his direct running and array of passes has allowed his front men Kim Min Ho and Ljubojevic to flourish.
Expect Park to send Albirex into disarray with his holding-up skills, as Albirex are not allowed to maintain their usual game of passing football.
Albirex Niigata (S): Kazuki Sakamoto
Again and again this Japanese names pops up, but the striker is Albirex’s main striker, and if he is not on the pitch, then Albirex become a less dangerous team to deal with.
The ability to change his pace at the drop a of a shoulder, Sakamoto will be Balestier’s main concern if they want to keep the White Swans quiet.
Balestier Khalsa – WWLWL
04/06/14 Tanjong Pagar United 0-3 Balestier Khalsa
27/5/14 Warriors FC 1-3 Balestier Khalsa (RHB Singapore Cup)
21/5/14 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Woodlands Wellington
15/5/14 Balestier Khalsa 3-1 Courts Young Lions
9/5/14 Hougang United 2-1 Balestier Khalsa
Albirex Niigata (S) – LWWLWD
05/0/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Hougang United
28/5/14 Svay Rieng FC 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S) (RHB Singapore Cup)
23/5/14 Harimau Muda 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S)
14/5/14 Brunei DPMM 2-1 Albirex NIigata (S)
8/5/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Geylang International
Head to Head (S.League)
21/3/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
20/10/13 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-2 Balestier Khalsa
30/8/13 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Balestier Khalsa
23/4/13 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
16/9/12 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
6/4/12 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-2 Balestier Khalsa
13/10/11 Balestier Khalsa 1-3 Albirex Niigata (S)
28/6/11 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
6/4/11 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)