DPMM FC players in a training session. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS
BY Fadhil Yunus
DPMM FC set their sights of moving two points clear off the chasing pack at the top of the AIA Singapore Premier League as they look to navigate their way past Albirex Niigata (S) in a much-anticipated encounter at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight.
The Brunei-based outfit will swap sides with Hougang United, who is not due in action until this Sunday, if they defeat one of the three title challengers which also include third-placed Tampines Rovers in the mix.
Fresh from their 4-1 victory over Balestier Khalsa in their final away match of the season on September 1, the Gegar Gegar men will look to take a step closer to the coveted title, which they last won in 2015.
Adrian Pennock’s charges can also end the White Swans’ title challenge and three-year dominance if they walk away with three points, as a defeat for the reigning holders means that they could not catch DPMM FC.
The Japanese satellite team lie nine points adrift of DPMM FC, who trail league leaders Hougang United by a point in second place, with four games of the season remaining.
Albirex, who made history last year after going the entire season unbeaten, are on a barren run of form having failed to record a win in the last six appearances.
The White Swans were previously firmly in title contention after they embarked a run of six wins in seven matches.
DPMM FC will play the first of four home ties in a space of 18 days after a congested away fixture between the end of June and July with six of their seven games coming in their travels.
The Brunei-based outfit have not beaten Albirex since August 2016 when they edged them 2-1 in the league courtesy of former striker Rafael Ramazotti’s penalty and Yura Indera Putera.
DPMM FC will look to their firepower to address their shortage of goals having found the back of the net only three times in nine meetings against the White Swans.
The hosts will also look to iron out their defensive woes against Albirex having conceded 21 times during that spell.
The Brunei outfit have finally stopped Albirex from scoring in succession this season after two goalless draws although the search for the elusive first win in three years continues.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin