News Singapore Premier League • July 19, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 12: Preview
Lion City Sailors and Albirex Niigata (S) played out a 2-2 draw in their previous encounter on 7 April 2021.
SINGAPORE, 19 JULY 2021 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) returned after a hiatus of almost two months with a 1-1 draw in a rescheduled clash between Tanjong Pagar United and Young Lions last Saturday. This week, the three remaining matches of Round 12 will be played, starting with a top-of-the-table showdown between leaders Albirex Niigata (S) and the Lion City Sailors. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
Strugglers eyeing fresh start
Tanjong Pagar vs Young Lions | 17 July | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 201
Team news: Seventh-placed Tanjong Pagar could miss the services of youngsters Naufal Ilham and Prakash Raj through injury. The good news is that veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad is now fully fit and could get a first start for the Jaguars.
As for bottom side Young Lions, reliable defender Syahrul Sazali will serve a two-match suspension for his direct red card in the 1-0 defeat to Lion City Sailors the last time out.
- The match on 8 May was abandoned at 62 minutes due to inclement weather.
- Tanjong Pagar’s only win in 10 matches this season came in a 4-0 thrashing of Young Lions back in April.
- Young Lions is the only team without a win in 2021 – they last collected three points in 4-2 win against Tanjong Pagar at Jurong East in December 2020.
- There have been no goal-less draws in the last 14 encounters since a stalemate in March 2011 at Queenstown.
- Tanjong Pagar are on a four-match winless run, while Young Lions have lost four successive matches.
- Young Lions have conceded in their last 26 SPL matches.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Luiz Junior has scored five in three outings against Young Lions since arriving in the SPL in 2020.
*above preview first published on 15 July 2021
Sailors out to make statement under new gaffer
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Lion City Sailors | 23 July | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111
Team news: League leaders Albirex will miss leading scorer Kiyoshiro Tsuboi due to a long-term knee injury, but should be able to welcome back Kuraba Kondo after missing the previous two matches due to injury. Young Hilman Norisham could also make his debut for the White Swans.
As for second-placed Sailors, they will miss midfield trio Saifullah Akbar, Shahdan Sulaiman and Song Uiyoung due to suspension while key forward Stipe Plazibat is a possible doubt due to an injury sustained in last week’s 3-0 friendly win over Geylang International. However, national team captain Hariss Harun is set to make his club debut while the young duo of Nur Adam Abdullah and Justin Hui is now back from injury to boost the options for South Korean coach Kim Do-hoon in his first match in charge.
Club news: Sailors – 5 reasons to get excited about the Sailors’ SPL resumption | Defensive organisation key for Kim
- The Sailors are yet to beat Albirex in three encounters since their inception in 2020 despite scoring two on each occasion.
- The last time both sides met in April, the Sailors came from two goals down to draw 2-2.
- Albirex are the only remaining undefeated team in 2021, while the Sailors are unbeaten in their last eight matches – including winning their last six.
- The Sailors have scored in their last 23 SPL matches.
Cheetahs look to carry where they left off
Hougang United vs Tanjong Pagar | 24 July | 5.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: The two-month break seems to have done Hougang a world of good, with a host of key players like club captain Fabian Kwok, Khairul Nizam and Gilberto Fortunato all returning from injury. Mid-season arrival Amir Zalani is set to feature as well, while defensive lynchpin Lionel Tan is now back from suspension. National team custodian Izwan Mahbud could be in action as well.
For Tanjong Pagar, Khairul Amri could return after missing last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Young Lions due to fever. However, the likes of Naufal Ilham, Prakash Raj and Ridhuan Muhammad face a race against time to get fit – with the latter coming off the last time out after pulling his hamstring. Shakir Hamzah’s availability will depend on him clearing the mandatory fitness test this week.
- Hougang are unbeaten in the last six league encounters against the Jaguars since a 1-0 defeat at Queenstown in July 2013.
- Tanjong Pagar are yet to win any of their last five matches since defeating Young Lions 4-0 in April.
- Hougang won their last three matches – they had a similar streak earlier this season that was ended by Tanjong Pagar in a 3-3 draw.
- Hougang could win four straight games for the first time since their inception in 2011.
- Hougang have conceded in each of their last five games – keeping just one clean sheet in 11 games this season.
Tigers and Eagles hoping for lift-off
Geylang International vs Balestier Khalsa | 25 July | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Geylang are set to parade their trio of new signings in this one, with former Australian Under-17 midfielder Danny Kim and the experienced defensive duo of Abdil Qaiyyim and Afiq Yunos all having cleared the mandatory fitness test. The likes of Izzdin Shafiq, Umar Akhbar and Adam Hakeem are also back from injury, although Firdaus Kasman and Elijah Lim are still out for approximately another two weeks.
Meanwhile Balestier should also field their new on-loan defender Ho Wai Loon while Faizal Raffi is now fully-fit again. Defensive midfielder Aarish Kumar is unfortunately ruled out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
Club news: Geylang – Noor eyes league revival
- Balestier have won the last three encounters, including a 2-1 win at Toa Payoh in April – they have not won in six matches since.
- Geylang have lost seven out of their last eight matches – with the odd one out being a 4-2 win over Young Lions in April.
- The last goal-less draw between both sides was back in March 2016.
- Balestier’s Kristijan Krajček has scored in each of his last three outings against Geylang.