News Singapore Premier League • April 9, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League Round 6: Preview


Šime Žužul (R) of Balestier Khalsa holds off Harith Kanadi of Geylang International in the SPL, 7 April 2021.


SINGAPORE, 9 APRIL 2021 – The big games keep coming in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) with last season’s top two sides Albirex Niigata (S) and Tampines Rovers set for a mouth-watering face-off! Elsewhere, Hougang United and Lion City Sailors look to close the gap on leaders Albirex, while Young Lions host Tanjong Pagar United with both still hunting a first victory of the season. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!


READ: 2021 SPL Round 5 Roundup


In-form Tigers pose tricky test for Cheetahs
Balestier Khalsa vs Hougang United | 10 Apr | 5.30pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 201


Team news: Balestier have a largely fit squad to call upon as they seek to extend their three-match unbeaten run.


As for Hougang, the trio of Sahil Suhaimi, Naufal Azman and Nikesh Singh remain on the treatment table while forwards Gilberto Fortunato and Shahfiq Ghani are doubtful due to minor injuries.



  • Balestier were undefeated over the two encounters in 2020, with one win and one draw.
  • There have been no goal-less draws in the last nine encounters since a stalemate at Toa Payoh in July 2017.
  • Both sides last met at Toa Payoh in June 2018, with Hougang prevailing 1-0 in Clement Teo’s first game in caretaker charge of the Cheetahs.
  • Hougang are undefeated in their last three visits to Toa Payoh – one win and two draws – since a 4-1 defeat in August 2014.
  • Hougang have conceded in each of their last 14 SPL matches.
  • Balestier’s Shuhei Hoshino and Šime Žužul both scored in their last two outings against the Cheetahs.


Victory on the line
Young Lions vs Tanjong Pagar United | 10 Apr | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 204


Team news: Young Lions hope to have Harhys Stewart back after the defensive midfielder missed the midweek loss to Tampines through injury. Playmaker Joel Chew and captain Danish Irfan are expected to be restored to the starting eleven.


Meanwhile Tanjong Pagar is still sweating on the fitness of Delwinder Singh after the experienced defender missed the last two games due to injury. Veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad is unlikely to be available until May.



  • Two of the Young Lions’ three wins last season came against Tanjong Pagar.
  • There have been no goal-less draws in the last 13 encounters since a stalemate in March 2011 at Queenstown.
  • Tanjong Pagar are still waiting for their first win since beating Harimau Muda B 5-0 in October 2014.
  • Tanjong Pagar’s Luiz Junior has netted three in his last two outings against Young Lions.


Stags look to end White Swans’ unbeaten run
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Tampines Rovers | 11 Apr | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team news: Albirex are likely to bring top scorer Kiyoshiro Tsuboi back into the starting eleven after he was rested in midweek due to a head injury. Nippy playmaker Ryosuke Nagasawa is ruled out for the long term.


As for Tampines, experienced centre-back Baihakki Khaizan returns from a one-match suspension while creative midfielder Shah Shahiran is set for his final appearance of the season before enlisting for National Service (NS).



  • Albirex’s only two losses last season were inflicted by Tampines – including the 4-1 drubbing at Jurong East the last time both sides met.
  • Tampines have won the last three encounters and are undefeated in four out of the last five encounters.
  • Tampines have scored in their last three visits to Jurong East (to face Albirex).
  • Albirex are the last team to stop Tampines from scoring in a 0-0 draw at Our Tampines Hub in March 2019 – the Stags have scored in 39 straight SPL matches since.
  • Tampines’ Boris Kopitović scored four goals in two games at Jurong East in 2020 – a brace apiece against Albirex and Tanjong Pagar United.


Sailors smell blood against Eagles
Geylang International vs Lion City Sailors | 11 Apr | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 201


Team news: Geylang have some personnel issues, with young forward Zikos Chua out for the rest of the season due to NS while Dutch midfielder Barry Maguire continues his recovery from a hamstring problem. On-loan duo Faizal Roslan and Iqram Rifqi are also ineligible to face their parent club. Coach Mohd Noor Ali will hope to have captain Yuki Ichikawa back for selection after the Japanese defender missed the midweek loss to Balestier through injury.


As for the Sailors, they will welcome back Amirul Adli after the centre-back served a one-match ban against Albirex.


Club news: Geylang – Wounded Eagles aim to upset Sailors | Sailors – Shahdan expects tough battle against old friend Izzdin



  • The Sailors won both encounters last season, scoring seven goals without reply in total.
  • Geylang have lost the last 11 encounters since a 4-1 win over the Sailors’ predecessor Home United in October 2016 – current Sailor Gabriel Quak scored as a substitute for the Eagles, with Yuki Ichikawa and Amy Recha in their starting lineup while Abdil Qaiyyim and Aqhari Abdullah lined up for the opposite side.
  • The Sailors have scored in their last 17 SPL matches.
  • Geylang have failed to win a game without Maguire in the starting eleven this season.
  • Geylang could go five games without a win for the first time since May 2019.
  • Sailors’ Song Uiyoung has scored in each of his last three outings against Geylang.



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