The second-placed Japanese side face their Bedok-based opponents in a must-win clash as they look to stay in the hunt for the titleAugust 3, Saturday, 8.pm, Jurong East Stadium
Title challengers Albirex Niigata will look to get their campaign back on track when they host Geylang International this weekend after enduring some torrid form.
The second-placed Japanese side have stumbled to two draws and one defeat in their last three league games, leaving them six points behind leaders Tampines Rovers, who still have one game in hand.
Coach Koichi Sugiyama must be concerned at his team's lack of firepower, with their 22-goal tally the lowest amongst the top six teams. The possession game he preaches can be pretty to watch but what ultimately matters is putting the ball into the back of the net to win games, and in that respect it has been frustrating for spectators to watch them struggle to do that despite dominating games.
The White Swans will look to league joint-top scorer Kazuki Sakamoto (right) for the goals, as the striker hopes to thrive on his telepathic understanding with winger Bruno Castanheira.
Geylang will be boosted by the fact that they are undefeated against Albirex in their last five meetings in all competitions, with one draw in the League Cup and another in the league this year.
But coach Vedhamuthu Kanan will have to cope with a raft of players being unavailable to him, the most notable of which is top scorer Jozef Kaplan's absence due to his red card against Hougang United two league games ago.
The Slovakian has been carrying the team single-handedly at times with his inspirational performances, and will be a huge miss to a young and inexperienced squad.
Delwinder Singh and Fabian Kwok are long-term absentees, while defender Khairulnizam Jumahat looks set to miss out as well due to injury and Kanan will most likely have to field a reshuffled backline.
The Eagles will put up a determined performance with plenty of fight but if Albirex can play to their potential, this should be three points for them in a must-win clash.