| Fadhil Yunus |
BRUNEI DPMM FC will look to come out of their match against Warriors in the AIA Singapore Premier League with at least a three-point lead from the chasing pack during their visit to the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore today.
The Gegar Gegar men returned to winning ways after they edged Balestier Khalsa at home at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last week having tasted their first defeat of the season against a fired-up Tampines Rovers FC the previous week.
However, the title race is slowly heating up as reigning holders Albirex Niigata (S) are gathering momentum in recent times having won five of their last six matches including a three-game winning streak.
Warriors will be determined to snap out a three-game winless run including two straight defeats, and if they stun the league leaders the title race will be blown wide open.
The league leaders are set to miss the services of centre back Charlie Clough through suspension. The import has been a pivotal figure at the heart of the Brunei defence, who conceded 11 goals, the league’s second best defence only behind Albirex.
DPMM FC forward Andrei Varankou, who is currently in a mini scoring drought having failed to find the net in his last three appearances, will no doubt be eager to start firing again.
Meanwhile, Warriors are expected to be near full strength against an opponent whom they have not fared well in recent head-to-head duels.
The Brunei-based outfit have won five of their last seven encounters in all competitions with their last loss coming in a 5-1 defeat in the Singapore League Cup two years ago during former coach Steve Kean’s reign.
DPMM FC midfield star Blake Ricciuto provided a significant impact when both sides last met in April after scoring the decisive third goal en route to a 4-2 win.
Adrian Pennock’s charges lie three points ahead the Japanese satellite team with 30 points, whose thoughts will be firmly focussed on a tenth victory of the season in just 14 games.
Title contenders Albirex Niigata (S) will also be in action against basement dwellers Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock highlighted the essence of picking up three points after they surrendered their unbeaten streak against the charged-up Stags.
He said last week after win against Balestier Khalsa, “We just needed a win. It was so important to win today.”