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Group C: Albirex Niigata (S) vs Geylang International (June 8, Saturday, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)

Geylang International kick off their League Cup campaign against Japanese side Albirex Niigata, who already drew 0-0 earlier in their opening Group C game with Hougang United.

The Eagles will be high on confidence after demolishing Woodlands Wellington the last time out in their Singapore Cup encounter, and the star man to watch will be the hat-trick hero from that game.

Jozef Kaplan has been in scintillating form this season, as he builds on his superb debut season with the Bedok-based outfit. Made captain for this campaign, he has plundered 10 goals already, despite not being deployed as the main striker. The Slovakian has stepped up to lead a young team and as much as coach Vedhamuthu Kanan claims it's not all about him, there is no doubt Kaplan is key to their hopes of doing well this year.

Flying winger Yasir Hanapi has also been in good form for the Eagles and netted in their victory over the Rams as well, and seems to have settled down after a tame start to the season. Striker Wahyudi Wahid will be a threat upfront having come through the Prime League ranks, although Delwinder Singh will be missed at the back due to a broken nose.

In Kazuki Sakamoto, Albirex have their own prolific goal-getter. The striker is the S.League's leading scorer this season and has wasted no time in adapting in his debut season. He will be backed ably by captain Shuhei Hotta and tricky winger Bruno Castanheira, as Koichi Sugiyama aims to secure qualification to the next stage with victory.

Both sides drew 2-2 in their league encounter with the Eagles proving that the White Swans' famed passing game could be stifled with relentess hard work then, and this should boil down to whoever wants it more.

  • Geylang International
  • Albirex Niigata (S)