News • April 17, 2016
White Swans Out To Hurt Stags In Top Table Clash
Written by: Aysha Ridzuan
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Tampines Rovers FC
(16 April, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)
Albirex Niigata (S) will host Tampines Rovers in their course to continue their winning run at Jurong East Stadium on Saturday night.
The White Swans have returned from the international break stronger, collecting six points from the first two games this month scoring five goals in total. Most recently, they defeated Home United 3-0 with striker, Atsushi Kawata scoring a hat-trick.
In that game against Protectors, coach Naoki Naruo switched Kwata who has not scored in four games previously, to wing-back position which proved to work tremendously for them and he may stick to that tactic against Tampines.
Besides having a full squad to select, playing at home on their new artificial pitch at Jurong East Stadium could be an advantage to the Japanese side.
Hougang United who experienced playing on the new ground for the first time early this month had problems playing their game resulting to a 2-0 loss to Albirex.
Despite coming into this game after losing 2-1 to Ceres La Salle in the AFC Cup Group Stage last Tuesday, Tampines should have fresh legs to take on Albirex after resting Jermaine Pennant, Billy Mehmet, Shahdan Sulaiman and Jordan Webb against Ceres.
The Stags are expected face the White Swans with a strong attacking force as they look to keep their unbeaten run in the league especially knowing that three points will get them at the summit of the table with 17 points and with a game in hand.
Joey Sim who started against Ceres, will likely be in goal again as Izwan Mahbud is still out due to injury. However, it is crucial that he is at his best form to stop Albirex.
Tampines have won their last three goals with a single goal margin but that will need to change by working on their finishing because looking at how close the title race could be this season, more goals may help them at the end of the season.
Key Men To Watch
Albirex Niigata FC (S): Atsushi Kawata
Coach Naoki Naruo believed that Kawata could still score even if he’s played at wing-back position. He did just that against Home United in the last game where he scored not one goal but three all with his head.
Already seven goals under his name so far this season, the striker will be looking to extend his lead in the league’s top scorer table on Saturday.
Tampines Rovers FC: Jordan Webb
Webb came on from the bench in the second half against Ceres La Salle after the Stags were down 2-0. His presence made a difference causing problems for Ceres and the Stags were able to pull one back.
Having played only 45 minutes in that game, Webb should be able to start the game against Albirex to contribute.
Albirex Niigata (S) – DDLWW
08/04/16 Home United 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
01/04/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United (S.League)
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)
Tampines Rovers – DWWWL
12/04/16 Ceres La Salle 2-1 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
07/04/16 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
03/04/16 Garena Young Lions 1-2 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
19/03/16 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
15/03/16 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Ceres La Salle (AFC Cup)
Head to Head (S.League)
13/11/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Tampines Rovers
06/05/15 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
02/03/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Tampines Rovers
17/09/14 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
25/08/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-2 Tampines Roverr