Singapore Premier League • September 15, 2015
White Swans Looking To Narrow DPMM’s Lead
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Brunei DPMM
(Wednesday, 16 September, 7:30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Nigel Chin
Albirex Niigata (S) will have a chance to close the gap at the top of the table to just one point when they face league leaders Brunei DPMM on Wednesday evening.
After two rounds, the Japanese side trail the Bruneians by four points, and are lying third in the league table right now. However, a victory against DPMM will help Albirex move into second spot, and pile the pressure on Steve Kean’s men.
The White Swans come into the game with two full weeks of rest, after their game against Tampines Rovers last week was postponed due to haze.
They are currently riding on a four-game unbeaten streak, although they have drawn their previous two league matches.
On the other hand, DPMM come into the game full on confidence having defeated Harimau Muda 2-0 on Sunday.
In that game, Kean admitted that his side did not have the best of games, but praised his charges for getting the job done still.
Paulo Sergio also netted once again, and his return from injury has coincided with DPMM extending their lead at the top of the table.
Bragging rights will also be at stake too, with both sides splitting victories in their previous two games.
Suspension: Joseph Gamble (Brunei DPMM)
Key Men to Watch
Albirex Niigata (S): Yosuke Nozawa
The Japanese goalkeeper has proved himself to be a terrific acquisition for Albirex with his superb performances in goal.
With just 11 goals conceded in 18 games, Albirex boasts the best defensive record, and much of it has to be attributed to the 35-year-old custodian.
Against DPMM, Nozawa will be up for tough match; whether Albirex can achieve result will be dependent on Nozawa stopping both Paulo Sergio and Rafael Ramazotti from finding the back of the net.
Brunei DPMM: Paulo Sergio
The Portuguese forward signing has netted in three straight games since his return from hamstring injury.
Since joining DPMM midway through the season, Sergio has scored eight goals and notched four assists in just 12 S.League games.
Whether DPMM can lift the title at the end of the season will largely depend on his performances, starting against Albirex.
Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWDD
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)
06/08/15 Courts Young Lions 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
Brunei DPMM – WLWWL
12/09/15 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Harimau Muda (S.League)
29/08/15 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
23/08/15 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Courts Young Lions (S.League)
19/08/15 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Warriors FC (S.League)
13/08/15 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Brunei DPMM (Singapore Cup)
Head to Head (S.League)
14/05/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Brunei DPMM
07/03/15 Brunei DPMM 1 – 0 Albirex Niigata (S)
28/10/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 0 – 1 Brunei DPMM
14/05/14 Brunei DPMM 2 – 1 Albirex Niigata (S)
22/02/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 0 – 1 Brunei DPMM