Home United take on defending champions Albirex Niigata at the Bishan Stadium in their third S.League game of 2017 season on Saturday.
The Protectors have had a solid start to the new season, decimating Young Lions 6-1 in their opening game after which they outclassed arch-rivals Brunei DPMM 3-1 on the road to comfortably sit on the second spot below leaders Albirex with a game in hand. The White Swans have continued from where they left last season, clinching three wins in as many games.
Home are being rewarded for making smart moves during the pre-season transfer window. Aidil Sharin's men snapped up striker Stipe Plazibat from Hougang United and the Croat has set the league on fire with six goals so far. The defence, which leaked the second most number of goals last season (42) is looking assured after the arrival of goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.
Lions' skipper Hariss Harun is all set to make his competitive debut on Saturday while Juma'at Jantan, Faris Ramli, Irfan Fandi and Khairul Nizam were also impressive during the Lions' Asian Cup campaign in Riffa but coach Shairin has hinted that he has not yet decided about starting with his national stars as he reportedly believes they need more time to switch club football.
The history is not in their favour (1-4) but Home clinched a season-ending win against last season's quadruple winners. Coach Sharin though believes that the White Swans of last year were more "dangerous" and that his team can get a positive result against Kazuaki Yoshinaga's men.
However, Albirex have begun with the same attractive style of football they showcased last season and the results have followed them. By beating Tampines Rovers 2-1 on the opening day, the message to the rest of the pack was clear and they followed it up with a 2-0 win over Brunei.
Possible XI: Sunny; Jantan, Qaiyyim, Fandi, Camara; Asraf, Young, Shafiq, Swandi; Plazibat, Nizam
Possible XI: Nozowa, Menda, Tanaka, Akiyama, Yanagi, Nagasaki, Yamanouchi, Inaba, Nakai, Sano, Sakamoto