News Singapore Premier League • April 6, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 5: Preview
Gabriel Quak and Diego Lopes will look to wreak havoc for the Lion City Sailors.
SINGAPORE, 6 APRIL 2021 – Midweek AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) action is coming your way, headlined by a bumper clash between title contenders Lion City Sailors and Albirex Niigata (S)! Elsewhere, Hougang United and Balestier Khalsa will aim to continue their good form, while Tampines Rovers target a return to winning ways. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
READ: 2021 SPL Round 4 Roundup
Clash of the titans
Lion City Sailors vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 7 Apr | 7.45pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202
Team news: The Sailors will miss centre-back Amirul Adli due to a one-match suspension, which should see either Tajeli Salamat or Abdil Qaiyyim come in to fill the void beside Jorge Fellipe at the heart of defence.
Meanwhile, Albirex are expected to be unchanged, with nippy playmaker Ryosuke Nagasawa out for the long term.
- The Sailors fell to identical 3-2 defeats in the two encounters last season, conceding a second-half winner after coming from behind to pull level on each occasion.
- The Sailors have not beaten Albirex in nine league encounters since their predecessor Home United won 2-0 at Jalan Besar in June 2017.
- The Sailors have scored in 16 straight SPL matches.
- Albirex could keep four straight sheets for the first time since June 2018 – 5-0 wins over Balestier and Brunei DPMM followed by 3-0 wins over Home United and Young Lions.
- Albirex’s Takahiro Koga has saved the most shots in the league with 17.
- Sailors’ Song Uiyoung has scored three in his last four outings against Albirex.
Stags target immediate response
Tampines Rovers vs Young Lions | 7 Apr | 7.45pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 112, Starhub Ch 201
Team news: Tampines will miss the services of Baihakki Khaizan due to his expulsion over the weekend, meaning Daniel Bennett could be in line for his first start of the season at centre-back.
As for Young Lions, creative midfielder Joel Chew is a possible doubt after coming off injured in the 3-1 loss to the Sailors.
- Tampines won both encounters last season after two 1-1 draws in 2019.
- Tampines are undefeated in the last five encounters, since Young Lions came from behind to win 2-1 in August 2018.
- The last time Tampines lost a home game against Young Lions was in October 2015 – 1-0 at Jurong West. Current Stag Syazwan Buhari was playing for the visitors back then.
- Tampines have scored in 38 consecutive SPL matches.
Worst defence faces best attack
Tanjong Pagar United vs Hougang United | 7 Apr | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 113
Team news: With veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad and first-choice goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar ruled out due to injury, Tanjong Pagar are hopeful that experienced defender Delwinder Singh recovers in time to face his former club.
Hougang are sweating on the fitness of Brazilian forward Gilberto Fortunato, who missed the 5-1 win over Tampines due to injury. Head coach Clement Teo could also be back in the dugout after a bout of illness. The trio of Sahil Suhaimi, Naufal Azman and Nikesh Singh remain on the treatment table.
- Hougang are unbeaten in the last five league encounters since a 1-0 defeat at Queenstown in July 2013.
- Hougang have the league’s best attack with 13 goals, while Tanjong Pagar have the league’s worst defence with 14 goals conceded.
- Hougang’s only clean sheet from 17 competitive games last season came against Tanjong Pagar in a 0-0 draw at Jurong East in November 2020 – they have conceded at least a goal in the next 13 games since.
- Hougang have conceded one goal each in their last three matches.
- Tanjong Pagar are targeting their first win since defeating Harimau Muda B 5-0 in October 2014.
- Tanjong Pagar could lose their first five matches of the season for the first time since 2004 when they lost their first nine matches.
Eagles out to end winless run
Balestier Khalsa vs Geylang International | 7 Apr | 7.45pm | Toa Payoh | StarHub Ch 204
Team news: Balestier have a largely fit squad to call upon.
As for Geylang, Dutch midfielder Barry Maguire is still unavailable due to injury while young forward Zikos Chua is ruled out for the season after enlisting for National Service.
Geylang club news: Clash of the titans awaits at Toa Payoh
- Balestier won both encounters last season after Geylang had won four out of the previous five league meetings prior to that – Kristijan Krajček and Hazzuwan Halim was on the scoresheet for the Tigers on each occasion.
- The last time both sides met at Toa Payoh was back in June 2018 when Geylang won 2-1 courtesy of Yuki Ichikawa’s second-half winner.
- The last goalless league draw between both sides was back in March 2016.