News Singapore Premier League • March 19, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League Round 3: Preview


Albirex captain Kazuki Hashioka plays a pass, 17 March 2021


SINGAPORE, 19 MARCH 2021 – Sit tight, another round of AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) action is upon us before the international break! A heavyweight clash between Lion City Sailors and Hougang United is the headline act, while champions Albirex Niigata are looking to continue their 100 per cent record. Meanwhile, Geylang International and Tanjong Pagar United have to bounce back from heavy midweek defeats. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!


READ: 2021 SPL Round 2 Roundup


Cheetahs pose stern test for Sailors
Lion City Sailors vs Hougang United | 20 Mar | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202


Team news: The Sailors have a largely-fit squad to call upon, with multi-million dollar signing Diego Lopes pushing for a first start after impressing as a second-half substitute the last time out.


As for Hougang, they will continue to miss Sahil Suhaimi, Naufal Azman and Nikesh Singh through injury.



  • Hougang have not beaten the Sailors since the latter’s inception last year.
  • Hougang have not kept a clean sheet for their last 11 outings.
  • The Sailors have scored in 14 straight SPL matches since a 4-0 loss to Tampines in March 2020.
  • Stipe Plazibat scored in four out of five matches against Hougang when he was with Home United in 2017, before drawing blanks in both encounters with the Sailors in 2020.
  • Sailors’ Faris Ramli is looking to score his first goal against Hougang since netting in Home United’s 3-2 win at Jalan Besar in April 2016.


Eagles out to rediscover wings
Geylang International vs Young Lions | 20 Mar | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 112


Team news: Geylang have young winger Nur Luqman Rahman and Dutch midfielder Barry Maguire sidelined through injury, but now have Sylvano Comvalius available and he could make his first start for the Eagles.


Meanwhile, the Young Lions are set to welcome creative midfielder Joel Chew back to the fold after missing the midweek defeat to Albirex due to National Service (NS) commitments.



  • Geylang are undefeated in the last three encounters since a 2-1 home loss in June 2019.
  • Young Lions have not kept a clean sheet in the last 18 encounters since a 0-0 draw at Jalan Besar in June 2014.
  • Geylang have nine former Young Lions players in their ranks, including new recruit Izzdin Shafiq and forward Amy Recha.


White Swans eye third straight win
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Balestier Khalsa | 21 Mar | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202


Team news: Albirex may have to contend without injured nippy playmaker Ryosuke Nagasawa for a number of matches.


For Balestier, midfielder Gareth Low is doubtful after missing the midweek defeat to Tampines through injury.



  • Balestier have lost their last nine visits to Jurong East in all competitions – conceding 23 and scoring just two.
  • Their last win at the venue was back in July 2015 when they triumphed 1-0 courtesy of a Fadhil Noh strike. Captain Zaiful Nizam is the only starter who is still at the club, while Hazzuwan Halim was an unused substitute.
  • Balestier have not defeated Albirex in the last 17 encounters in all competitions, since a 1-0 win at Toa Payoh in October 2015.
  • Balestier could go the first three games of the season without a win since 2017 when they lost against Warriors FC, Geylang and Tampines respectively.
  • Albirex could win their first three games of the campaign since 2018 when they won their first 17 games en route to an unbeaten season.


Jaguars hope to spring surprise
Tampines Rovers vs Tanjong Pagar United | 21 Mar | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 112


Team news: Tampines have a clean bill of health for this one.


However for Tanjong Pagar, veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad misses a reunion with his former club due to injury, although they are hopeful of having captain Faritz Hameed and Suhairi Sabri back in time.



  • Tampines have scored in their last 36 SPL matches.
  • Tanjong Pagar are still waiting for their first win since October 2014.
  • Tanjong Pagar last defeated Tampines in August 2014 in a 1-0 victory at Clementi – Tampines assistant coach Fahrudin Mustafic captained the Stags in that game, while Tanjong Pagar team manager Noh Alam Shah came on as a half-time substitute against his current side.
  • Khairul Amri could face Tampines for the first time since captaining Young Lions in a 3-1 defeat to the Stags back in October 2016.


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