Brunei DPMM vs Albirex Niigata (S): Will the Wasps avenge their Community Shield loss?
Brunei will play their fifth straight home game back at Brunei and host the visiting White Swans.
Albirex outclassed the Brunei side 3-2 in the opening game of the campaign, a result which also saw the White Swans claim the Community Shield.
Brunei DPMM Form
- DPMM 3-1 Balestier Khalsa (S.League)
- DPMM 4-1 Young Lions (S.League)
- DPMM 1-2 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
- DPMM 2-1 Home United (S.League)
- Hougang United 0-0 DPMM (S.League)
Albirex Niigata (S) Form
- Albirex 1-0 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
- Home United 0-3 Albirex (S.League)
- Albirex 2-0 Hougang United (S.League)
- Warriors FC 2-0 Albirex (S.League)
- Geylang International 0-0 Albirex (S.League)
Since then, both sides have registered good results, as Albirex sit atop the league table with 17 points while DPMM are three points behind.
Apart from a 2-1 loss to Tampines Rovers in their last four games at home, DPMM have won the other games comfortably.
However, Albirex will not be as easy to overcome, judging by their form. The White Swans have won three games in a row, without conceding any.
Albirex's latest victory was an 1-0 triumph over fellow title contenders Tampines, no mean feat considering the Stags were the only unbeaten team prior to that game.
Paulo Sergio is suspended after being dismissed in his last game and Shahrazen Said should come in as his replacement. After scoring in his last game, Shahrazen should be brimming with confidence and the White Swans need to be wary of him.
Albirex have not reported of any injuries and they should have a full squad to choose from.
Key Battle: Rafael Ramazotti vs Kento Fujihara
As Sergio will be missing the game, the goal-scoring responsibility will fall upon Ramazotti’s shoulders.
With four goals in as many games, the White Swans will seriously need to keep an eye on the Brazilian.
Kento Fujihara will be central to Albirex’s plan of keeping the front-man at bay. The defender is a rock at the back and nothing gets past him easily. That is a main reason why Albirex have the best defence in the league currently (five goals conceded in eight games).
Last Five Meetings
- Albirex 3-2 DPMM (S.League, Feb ’16)
- Albirex 0-0 DPMM (S.League, Sep ’15)
- Albirex 2-1 DPMM (S.League, May ’15)
- DPMM 1-0 Albirex (S.League, Mar ‘15)
- Albirex 0-1 DPMM (S.League, Oct ’14)
Albirex coach Naoki Naruo recently acknowledged that his side’s defence is vital to their title hopes after they eked out a 1-0 victory over DPMM.
He should adopt a similar soak-and-attack strategy, considering how DPMM have been firing on all cylinders at home.
Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean however, will be looking for another three points so expect him to task his charges to go out all guns blazing.
Facts and Figures
- Albirex have only beaten DPMM once at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium, on 28 June, 2013. The White Swans won 2-0 on that occasion.
- In the head-to-head records, DPMM have the edge with eight wins in 14 meetings. Albirex have only won five times whenever they played the Wasps.
- Atsushi Kawata has gone on to score hat-tricks every time he finds the net. He has two hat-tricks to his name so far.
Brunei DPMM 2 Albirex Niigata (S) 1. DPMM will want this victory not only to avenge their earlier loss in the season, but to also pull level on points with Albirex at the top of the league table. Considering their form at home, DPMM should edge this.