News Singapore Premier League • April 1, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 4: Preview
Tampines Rovers attacker Armin Bošnjak in action, 21 March 2021
SINGAPORE, 1 APRIL 2021 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) season returns after a two-week international break with a tantalising clash between Hougang United and Tampines Rovers! Elsewhere, champions Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors are looking to bounce back from disappointing results, while a first win is on the line as Balestier Khalsa and Tanjong Pagar United face off. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
Cheetahs hunt another upset
Hougang United vs Tampines Rovers | 3 Apr | 5.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 112, Starhub Ch 201
Team news: Sahil Suhaimi, Naufal Azman and Nikesh Singh continue to be absent, but Hougang will welcome Shahril Ishak and Nazrul Nazari back into the fold from injury.
Meanwhile Tampines will hope to have Iman Hakim available after the young midfielder missed the first three games through a hip injury sustained in pre-season.
- Hougang are the last team to beat Tampines – in a 2-1 away win last October, with the Stags on a 13-match unbeaten run since.
- Hougang have not defeated Tampines in the last five meetings at Hougang Stadium since a 4-2 win in April 2014.
- Hougang are yet to keep a clean sheet in the last 26 encounters in all competitions since a 2-0 league win at Hougang Stadium on May 19, 2011.
- Hougang could win their first two home matches for the first time since 2017 when they defeated Geylang International and Young Lions by identical 2-0 scorelines.
- Tampines have scored in their last 37 SPL matches.
- Hougang have not kept a clean sheet in their last 12 outings.
- Shahril scored on his last two starts against Tampines – in Lion City Sailors’ 1-1 draw last December and Home United’s 4-2 defeat in July 2019.
Sailors seek redemption
Young Lions vs Lion City Sailors | 3 Apr | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202
Team news: Young Lions have a largely fit squad to call upon, with new signing Zulqarnaen Suzliman being registered in time to face his former club.
As for the Sailors, they will hope to have Jorge Fellipe get back to fitness in time.
- Young Lions have yet to score against the Sailors, conceding nine in two encounters last season.
- Young Lions have not kept a clean sheet in their last 18 outings since a 3-0 thrashing of the Sailors’ predecessor Home United in September 2019.
- The Sailors have scored in 15 straight SPL matches.
- The Sailors have never suffered back-to-back defeats since their inception in 2020.
Both sides seeking a first win
Balestier Khalsa vs Tanjong Pagar United | 4 Apr | 5.30pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 201
Team news: Balestier are at full strength, with first-choice custodian and captain Zaiful Nizam recovered from the injury that saw him substituted off in the 0-0 draw with Albirex two weeks ago.
For Tanjong Pagar, veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad continues to miss out due to injury.
- Balestier are undefeated in the last six encounters since a 3-1 loss in February 2013.
- Tanjong Pagar’s last away win in this fixture came all the way back on August 19, 2004 in a 6-0 thrashing.
- Balestier could go the first four games of a season without a win for the first time since 2016 when they failed to win their first eight matches.
- Tanjong Pagar could lose their first four games of a season for the first time since 2004 when they lost their first nine matches.
- Tanjong Pagar are still waiting for their first win since defeating Harimau Muda B 5-0 in October 2014.
White Swans target return to winning ways
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Geylang International | 4 Apr | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Albirex will continue to miss the services of nippy playmaker Ryosuke Nagasawa through injury.
For Geylang, Dutch midfielder Barry Maguire and young Singaporean winger Nur Luqman Rahman remain on the sidelines due to injury.
- Geylang have not scored in their last 10 visits to Jurong East (to face Albirex) in all competitions, since a 4-2 defeat in May 2014.
- Geylang have not won in their last 17 visits to the venue (to face Albirex) – their last victory there was a 2-1 success back in May 2010 in which the late Hafiz Rahim scored a last-minute winner.
- Geylang have not kept a clean sheet in their last seven outings.
- Geylang have scored first in all three games this season so far.