Singapore Premier League • November 5, 2015

Tight game expected between Protectors and White Swans


Written by: Shawn Lim

Home United vs Albirex Niigata (S)

(5 Nov, Thursday, 7.30pm, Yishun Stadium)

Watch the game LIVE on Voxsports here:

Home United will welcome Albirex Niigata (S) to Yishun Stadium on Thursday night looking to end their two-match losing run.

The Protectors had not lost a Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League match since May, but that record came to an abrupt end when they lost their last two games to Geylang International and Harimau Muda.

However, Home have a chance to return to winning ways when they host the tired White Swans, as the Japanese side have looked bereft of ideas of late in their matches.

Meetings between these two sides have also been low scoring affairs, with the last two ending in stalemates.

The White Swans however, will be looking to prevent another draw as they need a win to keep pace with leaders Brunei DPMM and can cut the Wasps’ lead to four points if they take all three points against the Protectors.

Albirex coach Tatusyuki Okuyama is refusing to give up hope of snatching the title till the final day of the season despite their less than ideal results in recent matches, and believes that his side have the professionalism to do so.

Despite his optimism, Okuyama admits that results from other matches will have to go the Japanese side’s way in order for them to win their first ever S.League title.

“We have to look at the results of the other teams now, and we still have three games, which we will try to win as a professionals,” the Japanese said after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Courts Young Lions.

While striker Shotaro Ihata is a doubt for Albirex and goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at is suspended for Home, both sides have no major injury concerns for the match.

Suspension: Hyrulnizam Juma’at (Home United)

Key Men To Watch

Home United: Kamel Ramdani

The French-born Algerian is one of the players who make the Protectors tick, with his playmaking skills and penetrating passes.

A true number 10, Ramdani’s ability to create goal as well as put them away is what makes him a special player.

Worth a mention too, is his set-pieces taking prowess, which Albirex will do well not to concede.

Albirex Niigata (S): Rion Taki

With main striker Ihata out injured, Taki has been leading the line in recent matches for the White Swans, but without much success.

More comfortable playing on the wings, Taki will need to find his scoring boots soon to help Albirex get the goals.

Home United – DWWLL

02/11/15  Harimau Muda 1-0 Home United (S.League)
30/10/15  Geylang International 2-1 Home United (S.League)
26/10/15  Home United 2-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
21/10/15  Home United 2-1 Warriors FC (S.League)
17/10/15  Brunei DPMM 4-4 Home United (S.League)

Albirex Niigata (S) – LDWWL

02/11/15  Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Courts Young Lions (S.League)
30/10/15  Warriors FC 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
26/10/15  Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Geylang International (S.League)
19/10/15  Harimau Muda 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
16/10/15  Balestier Khalsa 1-0 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