Warriors Eye Top Spot
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Warriors FC
(Saturday, 29 April, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)
Written by: Shawn Lim
A top of the table clash will take place in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when Albirex Niigata (S) entertain Warriors FC at the Jurong East Stadium on Saturday night.
Both clubs are still unbeaten after six games played and have the best goalscoring record in the league so far, with Albirex scoring 16 and conceded three while Warriors have 15 and shipped ten at the other end.
Warriors can go top with three points here, but midfielder Firdaus Kasman says they will have to first tighten up at the back.
The Choa Chu Kang-based club have been involved in high-scoring games against Garena Young Lions (4-3), Brunei DPMM (5-3) and Home United (2-2), but had to come from behind in all three to win or earn a share of the spoils.
“We are taking one game at the time even though we have let in so many goals at the back,” explained Firdaus.
“We are scoring a lot of goals, so that is the most important thing for us at the moment. But we are definitely learning from each match and trying to improve the defensive aspect of our game as well.”
Firdaus also expressed his delight at his team’s goalscoring abilities and has praised his teammates.
“Statistics shows that we are doing a good job in scoring goals and goals are what helps you to win matches,” said the 29-year-old.
“Therefore, kudos to my attackers and the more experienced players (like Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak) who provide moral support and encouragement to our younger teammates to play their best game.”
Even though Kazuaki Yoshinaga’s side look unstoppable at the moment, Firdaus is quietly confident that the nine-time league champions can pull off an upset, especially since they have beaten the Japanese side three times in their past five meetings.
“We are preparing well for Albirex and I believe that if we listen to our coach’s instructions and follow the game plan, we will be good,” asserted Firdaus.
“We know their strengths and weaknesses, and beating them is not impossible because we have done it in the past.
“It will definitely be a tough game, but nothing is impossible and we have to believe in our abilities.”
The White Swans will miss Yuuki Yamanouchi through an ankle injury while Warriors will be without Hafiz Osman who is suspended.
Suspension: Hafiz Osman (Warriors FC)
Albirex Niigata (S) - WWDWW
21/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S)
14/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United
01/04/17 Home United 2-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
09/03/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Brunei DPMM
04/03/17 Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S)
Warriors FC - DWWWD
22/04/17 Warriors FC 2-2 Home United
15/04/17 Brunei DPMM 3-5 Warriors FC
08/04/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Garena Young Lions
01/04/17 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Warriors FC
10/03/17 Warriors FC 1-1 Geylang International
Head to Head (S.League)
30/09/16 Warriors FC 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
10/06/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-2 Warriors FC
18/03/16 Warriors FC 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
30/10/15 Warriors FC 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
18/05/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-4 Warriors FC