News Singapore Premier League • May 14, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 10: Preview
Shawal Anuar (L) of Hougang United fends off Geylang International’s Christopher van Huizen, 16 April 2021.
SINGAPORE, 14 MAY 2021 – We look ahead to another week in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL), with an intriguing clash between rivals Geylang International and Hougang United while title-chasing Tampines Rovers face an unpredictable Balestier Khalsa side. Meanwhile the frontrunners, Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors, look to pull away as they take on the bottom two sides. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
READ: 2021 SPL Round 9 Roundup
Stags look to build on draw against White Swans
Tampines Rovers vs Balestier Khalsa | 15 May | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 112
Team news: Tampines will continue to miss young midfielder Shah Shahiran due to National Service (NS) while veteran centre-back Daniel Bennett will serve a one-match suspension for his expulsion after last week’s 2-2 draw with Albirex, but the good news is that Irfan Najeeb should return to bolster the backline after recovering from injury.
As for Balestier, defensive midfielder Aarish Kumar is ruled out for a few weeks due to a knee problem.
- Balestier are yet to beat Tampines in the last 15 league encounters since a 4-3 victory back in November 2015.
- Tampines have only beaten Balestier by more than one goal in one out of six league encounters since 2019 though.
- Balestier last kept a clean sheet against Tampines in a 3-0 win during the 2017 TNP League Cup group stages.
- Tampines have scored in their last 44 SPL matches.
- Balestier have conceded four goals in their last three outings and only kept two clean sheets in nine this season.
- Balestier could lose five straight matches for the first time since July 2019 when they lost seven on the trot.
- Tampines’ Boris Kopitović has scored in all three encounters against Balestier since arriving in the SPL in 2020.
The unbeaten against the win-less
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Young Lions | 15 May | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202
Team news: Albirex have a largely-fit squad to call upon, with midfield playmaker Ryosuke Nagasawa in line to make his first start since the opening day of the season after recovering from a dislocated shoulder while veteran forward Fairoz Hasan should return to the fold after missing the last couple of games due to reservist.
For the Young Lions, midfielder Harhys Stewart is suspended due to an accumulation of four yellow cards, but captain Danish Irfan could be restored to the starting eleven after missing the last three matches through injury.
- Albirex have won the last 15 encounters since a 1-0 defeat at Jurong East in November 2015.
- Young Lions have failed to score in the last three encounters after scoring one in each of the six meetings prior to that.
- Young Lions have conceded in their last 24 SPL matches, including four apiece in their last two.
Cheetahs look to conjure up winning run
Geylang International vs Hougang United | 16 May | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202
Team news: Both sides are beset with injury problems. Geylang will miss up to six players, including key players Harith Kanadi and Sylvano Comvalius, although they can call upon the services of Faizal Roslan and Iqram Rifqi again after the duo was ineligible to face their parent club the last time out.
Hougang will continue to miss the likes of captain Fabian Kwok, Gilberto Fortunato and Khairul Nizam, but the versatile Farhan Zulkifli is now back from injury and suspension to bolster their options.
Club news: Geylang – Buoyant Eagles aim to make up ground
- The 4-1 win earlier in March was Hougang’s first win over Geylang in six encounters in all competitions.
- Hougang have never won in three visits to face Geylang at OTH since the Eagles moved there in 2019 – with 2-2 and 4-4 draws that year before a 2-0 defeat in 2020 – their last away win against them came in a 3-0 victory at Bedok in August 2018 when current Eagle Fareez Farhan was amongst the scorers.
- Geylang have scored at least a goal in the last eight encounters in all competitions.
- Geylang’s Amy Recha has scored three in his last four games against Hougang in all competitions.
Jaguars look to stifle in-form Sailors
Lion City Sailors vs Tanjong Pagar United | 16 May | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 201
Team news: The Sailors will continue to miss the young duo of Justin Hui and Nur Adam Abdullah as they are still recovering from their respective injuries.
Meanwhile Tanjong Pagar do not have many issues to contend with bar veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad, who has yet to clear the mandatory fitness test.
Club news: Sailors – Fit-again Haiqal Pashia raring to go
- Tanjong Pagar have conceded 12 goals in three meetings against the Sailors since returning to the SPL in 2021.
- The Sailors have scored in their last 21 SPL matches.
- Tanjong Pagar will exceed their 2020 tally of five points so long as they avoid defeat in this one.
- Sailors’ Stipe Plazibat has scored a brace apiece in his last two games against Tanjong Pagar.
- Robin Chitrakar managed one win in five league encounters against Tanjong Pagar when he coached Young Lions from 2011 to 2012 – a 5-0 win at Queenstown in April 2012 which current Sailors Faris Ramli, Tajeli Salamat and Aqhari Abdullah featured in.
- Chitrakar and opposite number Hasrin Jailani are both members of Geylang’s 2001 title-winning side.