S-League Preview Week 12
Courts Young Lions v Albirex Niigata(S)
Jurong West Stadium, 7.45 pm
Photo courtesy of FAS
The Young Lions saw their run of two wins come to an end with a narrow 1-2 defeat against Tampines in the first of their two games this week, while their opponents this week also saw a similar streak broken with a 0-0 draw against Geylang.
Having started the season poorly, the Young Lions have turned in more encouraging performances in recent weeks and picked up enough points to lift themselves off the bottom of the table. Jonathan Toto, their top-scorer with five goals in the league, will plough a lone furrow upfront again as he attempts to score at the right end, after netting an unfortunate own-goal to consign his side to defeat against Tampines.
The return of attacking midfielder Shafiq Ghani has boosted the Young Lions’ attack, while Fazli Ayob rejoining the side has been a plus point too. Robin Chitrakar will however be hoping for an upturn in Benjamin Lee’s performances. Despite all the hype and promise, Lee has not exactly shown what he is capable of.
Albirex will look to impose their pressing game on the hosts, and break them down with their patient build-up play, something they failed to do against the Eagles. The goals seem to have dried up lately for the Japanese side too, and they will hope that strikers Toshikazu Soya, Sho Kamimura and Yasuhiro Yamakoshi have their shooting boots back on in this match. With their central defenders being a threat in the air, the Young Lions will have to be vigilant at set-pieces to avoid conceding from such situations.
Young Lions last five games: LLWWL
White Swans last five games: LLWWD
Prediction: This should be a close one. Albirex to edge this 2-1.