News Singapore Premier League • April 22, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League Round 8: Preview


Tomoyuki Doi skips past a challenge in Hougang United’s match against Young Lions, 17 April 2021.


SINGAPORE, 22 APRIL 2021 – The Lion City Sailors are looking to settle an old score this weekend in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) as they face Hougang United, while leaders Albirex Niigata (S) face a tricky task against a gritty Balestier Khalsa side. Elsewhere, Tanjong Pagar United will target a reaction against Tampines Rovers while Young Lions eye a first win of the season against Geylang International. ALL LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!


READ: 2021 SPL Round 7 Roundup


In-form Sailors seek revenge
Hougang United vs Lion City Sailors | 24 Apr | 8.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 112


Team news: Apart from long-term injury victims Nikesh Singh and Sahil Suhaimi, the attacking trio of Shawal Anuar, Gilberto Fortunato and Shahfiq Ghani is also on the treatment table for Hougang. The good news is that top scorer Tomoyuki Doi is fit to play despite receiving a knock during last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Young Lions.


As for the Sailors, wide players Nur Adam Abdullah and Justin Hui have joined Haiqal Pashia on the sidelines due to injury.



  • Hougang won 3-1 at Jalan Besar in March the last time both sides met.
  • Hougang have yet to lose at Hougang Stadium this season, with two wins and a draw.
  • Hougang could go seven games unbeaten for the first time since 2014 when they went nine matches undefeated between May to August.
  • Sailors have scored in their last 19 SPL matches.
  • Hougang’s Doi and Sailors’ Stipe Plazibat could each score in a seventh straight match.


Wounded Jaguars look to bounce back
Tanjong Pagar United vs Tampines Rovers| 24 Apr | 8.30pm | Jurong East


Team news: Tanjong Pagar’s veterans Ridhuan Muhammad and Khairul Amri will miss a reunion with their former side due to injury, while young forward Daniel Martens is also ruled out due to fractured ribs.


Meanwhile Tampines have a virtually full-strength squad to call upon, bar creative midfielder Shah Shahiran who is away on National Service (NS).



  • Tanjong Pagar are yet to beat Tampines since returning to the SPL in 2020, with one draw 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 scored in their last 41 SPL matches.
  • Tampines’ Boris Kopitovic is targeting to score for a fifth straight match.
  • Kopitovic has scored on all his visits to Jurong East – a brace apiece against Tanjong Pagar and Albirex in 2020, and another one in a 2-1 loss to Albirex earlier in April.


Tigers pose threat to White Swans’ unbeaten run
Balestier Khalsa vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 25 Apr | 8.30pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 113


Team news: Balestier will be hoping to have Amer Hakeem available after the young centre-back missed the last two games through injury.


Meanwhile, Albirex continue to miss out on the services of nippy playmaker Ryosuke Nagasawa due to a dislocated shoulder.



  • Balestier have not defeated Albirex in the last 18 encounters in all competitions, since a 1-0 win at Toa Payoh in October 2015.
  • On their last visit to Toa Payoh in July 2018, Albirex were held to a 1-1 draw that ended their 100 per cent record after they had won their first 17 matches that year – Hazzuwan Halim scored a second-half equaliser to earn the Tigers a point.
  • Balestier are the only team to stop Albirex from scoring this season in a 0-0 draw in March.


Young Lions eye first win
Young Lions vs Geylang International | 25 Apr | 8.30pm | Jalan Besar


Team news: Playmaker Hami Syahin returns from a one-match suspension for the hosts while captain Danish Irfan is expected to be restored to the starting eleven after missing the 1-1 draw with Hougang due to a fever.


In contrast, Geylang will have at least four players unavailable. Effervescent winger Nur Luqman Rahman is ruled out of the season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in last week’s Eastern Derby, while centre-back Adam Hakeem and Dutch forward Sylvano Comvalius are not deemed fit. Young forward Zikos Chua is away on NS.



  • Geylang are undefeated in the last four encounters since a 2-1 home loss in June 2019.
  • Young Lions have conceded in their last 22 SPL matches.
  • Young Lions could go their first eight matches without a win for the first time since 2017 when they failed to win their first 18 matches.


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