Cheetahs Aim To Overcome Fatigue
Hougang United vs Albirex Niigata (S)
(3 July, Monday, 7.30pm, Hougang Stadium)
Written by: Shawn Lim
Hougang United will be looking for their third win on the trot in all competitions when they take on Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League leaders Albirex Niigata (S) at Hougang Stadium on Monday night.
It will be their second game in the space of four days after the Cheetahs fought hard to defeat in-form Home United 3-2 on Friday night.
However, the RHB Singapore Cup quarter-finalists will now have to quickly turn their focus to the rampant Japanese side, who currently hold a three-point lead over Tampines Rovers with a game in hand.
“The fixtures haven’t been kind to us. It is not easy to prepare for a team like Albirex with only two days of rest,” said Hougang head coach Philippe Aw.
“We also have The New Paper League Cup matches on the 7th, 10th and 13th of July. So all in all, we will be playing five matches in a space of 14 days.”
Aw also admitted that fatigue will be a key factor when his charges take on Albirex and revealed that he is likely to rotate the personnel in his squad with a gruelling schedule coming up.
“Fatigue will definitely be a factor. We will need to assess the players over the next two days,” explained Aw.
“Some players received knocks against Home, so let's see who is available, otherwise other players in the team will get the chance to play.”
The Japanese side’s 12-game unbeaten run in the S.League came to a screeching halt in their last game against Home, but Aw is wary of the wounded White Swans and was keen to stress that the Cheetahs will be the underdogs.
“Albirex are still a good team despite losing last week. I watched their loss last week, and with 10 men, they had chances to equalise but missed easy chances,” said Aw.
“So it will be difficult against them and once again we will be underdogs.”
The White Swans will miss Yasutaka Yanagi through suspension after the centre-back was sent off against Home, but will otherwise have a relatively injury-free squad to choose from.
Suspension: Yasutaka Yanagi (Albirex Niigata (S))
Hougang United - WDLWW
30/06/17 Home United 2-3 Hougang United
20/06/17 Hougang United 1-0 Ceres-Negros FC (RHB Singapore Cup)
25/05/17 Hougang United 0-3 Tampines Rovers
20/05/17 Geylang International 1-1 Hougang United
11/05/17 Warriors FC 0-2 Hougang United
Albirex Niigata (S) - WWWWL
23/06/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-2 Home United
16/06/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Brunei DPMM
26/05/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 8-0 Garena Young Lions
21/05/17 Tampines Rovers 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S)
11/05/17 Geylang International 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
Head to Head (S.League)
14/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United
14/10/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-0 Hougang United
15/06/16 Hougang United 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
02/04/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United
20/11/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Hougang United