Singapore Premier League • September 25, 2015
White Swans And Warriors Meet In Highly-Anticipated Clash
Written by: Shawn Lim
Warriors FC vs Albirex Niigata (S)
(Friday, 25 September, 7.30pm, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)
Second-placed Warriors FC will host third-placed Albirex Niigata (S) in a mouthwatering clash on Friday night at Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
Both sides are only separated by one point, but will need a victory to keep pace with leaders Brunei DPMM at the top of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table.
Clashes between these two sides have traditionally been a high-scoring affair, with 10 goals accounted for when they met on two previous occasions this season.
Albirex also currently has the best defensive record in the league this season – only conceding 11 goals – while the Warriors’ backline has been very leaky, conceding 36 goals, the most of any teams in the league.
However, the White Swans have also scored a paltry 19 goals this season, the third worst attacking record in the league this season and coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama is worried about the lack of goals.
“For offense, I think we could have done better. I think we can be more accurate.” Okuyama said after his side’s 0-0 draw with DPMM.
“Of course we want to score more goals, but DPMM are a very good opponent so that’s why we couldn’t create a lot of chances tonight.”
The White Swans will fancy of improving their scoring record against the shaky Warriors’ defence, but will have to do so without one of their key players, Rion Taki, because of suspension.
Playmaker Miroslav Pejic will also sit out this game for the Warriors after reaching the limit of yellow cards in Warriors’ 2-2 draw with Harimau Muda the last time out.
Suspensions: Rion Taki (Albirex Niigata (S)), Miroslav Pejic (Warriors FC)
Key Men to Watch
Warriors FC: Marin Vidosevic
The Croatian has not been at his best this season, looking unsure and off the pace in the Warriors’ backline this season.
The 28-year-old will have to step up his game and help fellow centre-back Daniel Bennett to stem the leaky defence and stop allowing attackers to get past them easily.
Albirex Niigata (S): Kento Nagasaki
The 25-year-old will be most likely handed a spot in the starting line in place of the suspended Taki and will be keen to put on a good display.
Having being used as an impact substitute for the majority of this season, Nagasaki now has a chance to prove why he deserves to start matches with more regularity now.
Against a Warriors’ defence that looks out of it depth at the moment, the Japanese will be keen to add on to his goals tally this season.
Warriors FC – LLDWD
19/09/15 Harimau Muda 2-2 Warriors FC (S.League)
13/09/15 Warriors FC 4-2 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
29/08/15 Warriors FC 1-1 Geylang International (S.League)
23/08/15 Warriors FC 0-2 Harimau Muda (S.League)
19/08/15 Brunei DPMM 3-1 Warriors FC (S.League)
Albirex Niigata (S) – WWDDD
16/09/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Brunei DPMM
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)
14/08/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Balestier Khalsa (Singapore Cup)
Head To Head (S.League)
18/05/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-4 Warriors FC
14/03/15 Warriors FC 0-6 Albirex Niigata (S)
31/10/14 Warriors FC 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
01/08/14 Warriors FC 1-3 Albirex Niigata (S)
16/04/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-4 Warriors FC