Match Preview: Albirex Niigata vs Hougang United


The rising form of the Cheetahs in their last five games has been alarming most of the other teams in the S.League, especially a young Albirex Niigata side, whom the Cheetahs will take on this coming Friday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Cheetahs are in their hottest form in their entire history – never before a Hougang or a Sengkang side (predecessors) had raked up 12 points in their last 5 games –  their only blotch was an Aleksandar Duric’s inspired victory for Tampines.

Coach Johana Johari must also have another selection headache – whoever he selects in the team, the individual Hougang players will always give out their best.

However, a point to note that the four victories in the last five, have either been in Jalan Besar or Hougang Stadium. That will be in Albirex coach Koichi Sugiyama’s notes to be addressed to his players, particularly in containing the second best in form team currently in the league.

The White Swans coach must also note that their last victory against Hougang in April – a tough 1-0 victory for them was no means an easy feat, It took a defensive mistake for Albirex to breach the Cheetahs defend and beat an ever inspiring Fadhil Salim in goal.

For Johana, he has a full squad to choose from. Jerome Baker and Robert Eziakor completed their return to the team by inspiring Hougang’s Prime League side a 5-1 victory against Woodlands Wellington, in which Jerome Baker netted a hat-trick, and Eziakor a goal to his name.

The Cheetahs however, will be wary of the threats of Nagasaki and birthday boy Brunojunichi Suzukicastanheira, who will be looking to fire all cylinders and inspire the White Swans to victory.

However, this particular fixture last season brought an inspiration to the Hougang players, who put in their best performance by stunning the Swans 3-2 at the Jurong East Stadium, a feat which was never achieved by past Hougang or Sengkang teams.

This game would be a close fight with both teams looking to capitalise on their great form, and the Cheetahs would never give any opponents an easy way out, in which Harimau Muda,Home United, Courts Young Lions and DPMM FC had suffered in the last few games.

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