News Singapore Premier League • August 4, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 14: Preview
Albirex Niigata (S) triumphed the last time they played Tanjong Pagar United on 17 April 2021.
SINGAPORE, 4 AUGUST 2021 – Another week of AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) action beckons as unbeaten leaders Albirex Niigata (S) look to extend their four-point lead at the top against Tanjong Pagar United on Friday. The next evening, Hougang United will be out to end their recent slump against the Young Lions while fellow title challengers Lion City Sailors are up against out-of-form Balestier Khalsa on Sunday. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
Jaguars hoping to spring surprise
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Tanjong Pagar United | 6 August | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Albirex will continue to miss the injured strike duo of Fairoz Hasan and Kiyoshiro Tsuboi, but reserve forward Fumiya Suzuki is now nearing a return for the first team.
As for Tanjong Pagar, Ridhuan Muhammad and Naufal Ilham are not ready to return from injury yet. However, they will welcome back key midfielder Rusyaidi Salime from suspension while experienced defender Delwinder Singh should also return to the starting lineup after missing out on last Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Geylang International due to a medical issue.
- Tanjong Pagar have never won against Albirex in 17 league meetings to date – including the three times which they faced the White Swans since returning to the SPL in 2020.
- The Jaguars’ only victory against the White Swans came in a 4-0 thrashing in the 2014 League Cup group stages.
- Tanjong Pagar have kept just one clean sheet in 13 games this season.
- The 6-0 defeat to Albirex earlier in April was the Jaguars’ heaviest defeat since their SPL return; Albirex’s Takahiro Koga has conceded in each of his last six outings since that game.
Cheetahs look to rediscover bite
Young Lions vs Hougang United | 7 August | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Young Lions will miss versatile full-back Zulqarnaen Suzliman due to suspension while captain Danish Irfan is still out injured, but key centre-back Syahrul Sazali has returned from a two-match ban to boost their defensive options.
For Hougang, they will have to cope without their first-choice defensive pairing of Maksat Dzhakybaliev and Lionel Tan due to suspension and injury respectively. Young winger Idraki Adnan is also ruled out for the rest of the season due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
- Young Lions are win-less in the last four encounters since a 1-0 win at Jalan Besar in July 2019 – Jacob Mahler scored a second-half winner on that occasion.
- There have been no goalless draws in the last 39 meetings in all competitions since a stalemate at Jalan Besar in February 2008.
- Hougang have conceded at least one goal against Young Lions in the last nine encounters.
- Young Lions have not kept a clean sheet in their last 28 outings.
- Hougang’s Izwan Mahbud has kept a clean sheet in each of his last three SPL games against Young Lions – all coming in 2017 when he was with Tampines Rovers.
Baptism of fire for Tigers
Balestier Khalsa vs Lion City Sailors | 8 August | 5.30pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Beleaguered Balestier will continue to miss defensive midfielder Aarish Kumar due to a long-term injury, while utility man Faizal Raffi is still not fully fit yet.
As for the Sailors, Adam Swandi and Song Uiyoung are unavailable due to injury and suspension. The good news is that the key midfield duo of Saifullah Akbar and Shahdan Sulaiman have returned from their respective one-match bans to bolster coach Kim Do-hoon’s options.
Club news: Sailors – Jorge Fellipe focusing on the ‘little details’
- The Sailors won all three encounters since 2020, scoring a total of 16 goals against the Tigers – Saifullah was on target on each occasion.
- The Sailors are on their best club run of nine games without a defeat, while Balestier are win-less in their last eight games – their worst streak since a 10-match run in 2019.
- The Sailors have scored in each of their last 24 SPL matches.
- Sailors’ Stipe Plazibat have scored seven goals in his last four outings against Balestier, while teammate Hariss Harun has lost just one out of his 10 career outings against the Tigers when he was previously with Home United and Young Lions (that came in a 2-1 defeat in July 2009 when he was with the latter).
- Balestier’s Šime Žužul is looking to score for a seventh straight league game.