News Singapore Premier League • May 20, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 11: Preview
Zehrudin Mehmedović (L) of Tampines Rovers tries to stop Hougang United’s Kaishu Yamazaki, 3 April 2021.
SINGAPORE, 20 MAY 2021 – A huge clash between title contenders Tampines Rovers and Hougang United headlines an intriguing final AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) round before the international break, while frontrunners Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors look to roll on against struggling opponents. Elsewhere, Balestier Khalsa will aim to end a five-match losing streak against Tanjong Pagar United. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
READ: 2021 SPL Round 10 Roundup
Another tough test for Young Lions
Lion City Sailors vs Young Lions | 22 May | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 204
Team news: The young duo of Justin Hui and Nur Adam Abdullah miss out for the Sailors through injury, but South Korean midfielder Song Uiyoung is available again after a minor knee problem while captain Hassan Sunny should return in goal after missing last week’s 3-1 win over Tanjong Pagar due to a fever.
As for the Young Lions, defensive midfielder Harhys Stewart is back from a one-match suspension while full-back Zulqarnaen Suzliman returns from a two-match absence through injury to boost their options.
Club news: Sailors – Robin Chitrakar aims to end month with flourish
- The Sailors have won all three encounters by at least two goals since their inception in 2020.
- The Sailors have scored in their last 22 SPL matches, while the Young Lions have conceded in their last 25.
- Young Lions last kept a clean sheet in September 2019 when they beat Home United 3-0 at Bishan.
- Sailors’ Gabriel Quak has scored in five out of his last six outings against Young Lions, while teammate Stipe Plazibat has six goals in his last three appearances against them.
- Sailors’ interim coach Robin Chitrakar’s only previous stint in the SPL was with the Young Lions from 2011 to 2012.
Stags seek revenge
Tampines Rovers vs Hougang United | 22 May | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub 201
Team news: Shah Shahiran is ruled out for the campaign due to National Service (NS) while Irfan Najeeb remains doubtful after missing the last two matches due to injury, but Tampines will welcome back veteran Daniel Bennett from suspension as they look to exact revenge for a heavy 5-1 defeat the last time both sides met in April.
Hougang will have to rejig their backline, with the ever-present Lionel Tan suspended while captain Fabian Kwok and Khairul Nizam remain unavailable due to injury. This match should also come too early for Brazilian forward Gilberto Fortunato, despite his return to training this week.
- Hougang are undefeated in their last two visits to OTH to face Tampines, with a 3-3 draw in May 2019 and a 2-1 win in October 2020 – they were last defeated by the Stags at the venue in August 2018 in a 1-0 loss.
- Tampines have lost just once in 16 games at OTH since August 2019 – that defeat was inflicted by Hougang.
- Hougang have yet to keep a clean sheet in the last 27 encounters in all competitions since a 2-0 league win at Hougang Stadium on May 19, 2011.
- Tampines have scored in their last 45 SPL matches.
- Tampines’ Boris Kopitović has scored in his last two outings against Hougang.
Tigers look to end torrid form
Tanjong Pagar United vs Balestier Khalsa | 23 May | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub 204
Team news: Veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad continues to miss out for Tanjong Pagar, but they will welcome back young forward Anaqi Ismit after he was ineligible to face his parent club the last time out.
For Balestier, midfielders Aarish Kumar and Faizal Raffi are unavailable due to injury while new signings Iqbal Hussain and Goh Yi Qi also miss out as they are yet to clear the mandatory fitness test.
- Balestier are undefeated in the last seven encounters since a 3-1 loss in February 2013.
- Balestier have conceded at least four goals in their last four games and could lose six straight games for the first time since losing seven in a row in July 2019.
- Balestier held Albirex to a 0-0 draw in their last visit to the venue back in March.
- Tanjong Pagar will exceed their 2020 tally of five points as long as they avoid defeat here.
Eagles hope to spring surprise
Geylang International vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 23 May | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Geylang remain beset by injury issues, with the likes of Nur Luqman Rahman, Umar Akhbar and Adam Hakeem unavailable while they are also sweating on the fitness of young goalkeeper Sanders Saurajen and creative midfielder Firdaus Kasman.
Albirex will welcome back key midfielder Ryoya Taniguchi from suspension while Kuraba Kondo should return after a minor injury, but top scorer Kiyoshiro Tsuboi is a possible doubt after coming off early in last week’s 2-1 win over Young Lions due to injury.
Club news: Geylang – Free from expectation to tackle champions
- Albirex won 1-0 in the last two encounters – including the last time both sides met at OTH in November 2020.
- Geylang have failed to score in the last four encounters in all competitions since Zikos Chua struck a 94th-minute winner in a 1-0 win at OTH in July 2019.
- There has been a winner in the last 16 games in all competitions since a 2-2 draw in the 2016 RHB Singapore Cup quarter-finals.
- Geylang, along with Young Lions, are the only teams yet to keep a clean sheet this season.