Match Preview: Eagles Brace for the "Battle of the Birds"


Photo credit: Idi Bakhtiar

The Eagles supporters, fronted by the Ultras Eagles, will be back in full force at Our Tampines Hub for the second time in four days when Geylang International host Albirex Niigata this Tuesday (April 5).


The two-time league champions are finding their 2022 season a tough one, with only a solitary win from the four games played so far. Playing easier fixtures would be the antidote to picking up points and boosting team morale.


But before Geylang International can face the likes of Balestier Khalsa and Young Lions, they are up against the formidable Japanese side, Albirex Niigata. The team have to ride out this rough patch before they can see light at the end of the tunnel.


With the Eagles still recovering from an agonising derby defeat last Saturday, conjuring the physicality and mental fortitude from the players to face another top opponent would be a huge challenge.


But the Tampines-based side can take heart that their Japanese counterparts have an indifferent start to the season. Notwithstanding the thrashing of minnows like Balestier Khalsa and Young Lions by huge margins, they struggled to prevail against Tanjong Pagar United, Lion City Sailors and Hougang United.


A chance for the Eagles to deny the White Swans from winning is within reach and would do a world of good to their confidence.


Team news: Abdil Qayyim will miss out due to injury. Joining him in the stands is Ahmad Syahir who is suspended for one match after receiving a second yellow card in the previous game. With the team playing two games in the space of four days, one would expect Noor Ali to rotate his squad.


Player to watch: Zaiful Nizam - The Geylang International goalie's outstanding saves had denied Tampines Rovers the win until four minutes from time. After an impressive performance in the Eastern derby, Zaiful is expected to have another busy evening against the White Swans. His safe pairs of hands would be required to prevent Albirex Niigata from breaching Geylang International's goal.

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