News Singapore Premier League • August 26, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League Round 17: Preview


Shawal Anuar of Hougang United battles Saifullah Akbar of the Lion City Sailors during their SPL encounter, 20 March 2021.


SINGAPORE, 26 AUGUST 2021 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) action continues to come thick and fast, with Lion City Sailors having the chance to go top temporarily again when they host rivals Hougang United on Friday. Leaders Albirex Niigata (S) will watch on before they take on Balestier Khalsa the following evening, while Geylang International hope to carry on where they left off against Young Lions in a concurrent fixture. On Sunday, out-of-sorts Tampines Rovers will look to end their recent torrid run of form against Tanjong Pagar United. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!


READ: 2021 SPL Round 16 Roundup


Cheetahs out to spoil the party
Lion City Sailors vs Hougang United | 27 August | 7.45pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team news: The Sailors are expected to be at full strength, with only Adam Swandi likely to miss out as he only resumed full training this week after a hamstring injury. Naqiuddin Eunos is expected to come back into the fold, while fellow full-back Aqhari Abdullah is fit to play despite sustaining a knock the last time out.


For Hougang, Idraki Adnan and Maksat Dzhakybaliev are out for the season. But otherwise they do not have many issues to contend with, as centre-back Anders Aplin makes his return from a one-match suspension.


Club news: Sailors – Sailors salute Singapore’s Healthcare Heroes | Stipe looks to take down old club Hougang



  • Hougang won 3-1 in this fixture back in March – that was the Sailors’ only defeat in 15 games this season.
  • Hougang are unbeaten in their last 6 league games at Jalan Besar since a 4-2 defeat to Tampines in July 2019.
  • The Sailors are the only team to stop Hougang from scoring in 16 games this season in a 1-0 away win back in April.
  • The Sailors are on a club-record 12-match unbeaten run, while having scored in their last 27 SPL matches.
  • Hougang’s Tomoyuki Doi has four goals in three career starts against Sailors since his SPL arrival in 2020.
  • Sailors’ Stipe Plazibat, Faris Ramli and Aqhari Abdullah were all previously with Hougang.


Eagles hope to continue momentum
Geylang International vs Young Lions | 28 August | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 112


Team news: Geylang will welcome back captain and defensive lynchpin Yuki Ichikawa from suspension, but experienced midfielder Firdaus Kasman should be absent after coming off with injury in the midweek Eastern derby win. The likes of Elijah Lim, Iqram Rifqi and Darren Teh are also not ready yet.


Meanwhile Young Lions continue to miss Hami Syahin (out for the season) and Danish Irfan, but do not have fresh injury issues.



  • Geylang are undefeated in the last five encounters since a 2-1 home loss in June 2019.
  • Geylang have conceded in their last 20 SPL matches, while Young Lions have no clean sheets in their last 31.
  • There have been no goal-less draws in the last 20 encounters since June 2014.


Can the Tigers spring another surprise?
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Balestier Khalsa | 28 August | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 202


Team news: Albirex will have to contend without a trio of forwards in Kiyoshiro Tsuboi, Fumiya Suzuki and Fairoz Hasan as they continue their road to full recovery, while young attacker Nicky Melvin Singh is also out after tearing his hamstring in last week’s 1-0 win over Young Lions.


As for Balestier, Serbian centre-back Ensar Brunčević and experienced full-back Ahmad Syahir are suspended. However, Hazzuwan Halim is available after serving a one-match ban while fellow winger Iqbal Hussain has also recovered from a knee injury. Croatian attacking midfielder Kristijan Krajček is fit as well despite being on the end of a heavy challenge the last time out.



  • Balestier have not defeated Albirex in the last 19 encounters in all competitions, since a 1-0 win at Toa Payoh in October 2015.
  • Balestier are the only team to stop Albirex from scoring in 16 matches this season in a 0-0 draw in March.
  • Šime Žužul has the opportunity to score in ten straight league games (his current nine-game scoring streak started with a goal in the 4-1 defeat to the White Swans in April); the last player with a longer streak was Stipe Plazibat – 11 in 2017.


Jaguars look to pile the misery on Stags
Tampines Rovers vs Tanjong Pagar United | 29 August | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 202


Team news: For Tampines, Serbian midfielder Zehrudin Mehmedović should return straight to the starting eleven after missing the midweek derby defeat through suspension. However, first-choice custodian Syazwan Buhari is expected to miss out again as he is still recovering from a foot injury.


Tanjong Pagar will welcome back Anaqi Ismit after being ineligible to face his parent club Sailors last Saturday. However, defensive midfielder Ammirul Emmran (suspension), defender Delwinder Singh and veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad (both injured) are unavailable.



  • Tanjong Pagar have yet to beat Tampines their SPL return in 2020, with two draws and two defeats so far.
  • Tanjong Pagar’s last win against Tampines came 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 at half-time against his current side.
  • Tampines have kept just two clean sheets in 15 games this season (both against Young Lions), while Tanjong Pagar only have one shutout from 16.
  • Tampines could score in a 50th straight SPL game.
  • A loss will see Tampines lose five straight games for the first time in their history.
  • Tanjong Pagar’s Luiz Junior has scored in his last three outings against the Stags.


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