News Singapore Premier League • May 6, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League Round 9: Preview
Tampines Rovers attacker Armin Bošnjak takes on the Albirex Niigata (S) defence, 11 April 2021.
SINGAPORE, 6 MAY 2021 – A mouthwatering clash between Tampines Rovers and Albirex Niigata (S) headlines this weekend’s AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) action, while elsewhere the Lion City Sailors and Hougang United will look to close the gap at the top. The Young Lions, still without a win, will hope to end that run. While the matches will be played behind closed doors, fans can watch ALL of them LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
Young Lions target first win
Tanjong Pagar United vs Young Lions | 8 May | 8.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 112
Team news: Tanjong Pagar will continue to miss veteran winger Ridhuan Muhammad, but young forward Daniel Martens is now available after missing the last two matches due to a rib injury. New additions Prakash Raj and Zharfan Rohaizad could make their debuts.
As for Young Lions, defensive midfielder Harhys Stewart is suspended due to an accumulation of four yellow cards, while captain Danish Irfan remains a doubt due to injury.
- Tanjong Pagar won 4-0 the last time both sides met in April for their first win since 2014.
- Young Lions have conceded in their last 24 SPL matches, including four apiece in their last two.
- There have been no goal-less draws in the last 14 encounters since a stalemate in March 2011 at Queenstown.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Luiz Junior has scored five in three outings against Young Lions since arriving in the SPL in 2020.
Stags look to inflict first defeat on White Swans
Tampines Rovers vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 8 May | 8.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 113
Team news: Tampines’ only notable absentee is Shah Shahiran, who is away on National Service (NS).
The same goes for Albirex, with only nippy playmaker Ryosuke Nagasawa ruled out as he is still recovering from a dislocated shoulder.
- The 2-1 win at Jurong East last month was Albirex’s first win in four encounters against Tampines.
- Albirex have not won in their last three visits to Our Tampines Hub (OTH), including identical 2-0 defeats in 2019 and 2020 – their last win there came in May 2018 in a 4-3 thriller.
- Albirex are the last team to stop Tampines from scoring in a 0-0 draw at OTH in March 2019 – the Stags have scored in 43 straight SPL matches since.
Depleted Cheetahs look to rediscover winning formula
Hougang United vs Balestier Khalsa | 9 May | 8.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 112
Team news: Hougang are facing an injury crisis – there is a possibility that as many as nine players will be unavailable for selection. Nikesh Singh and Sahil Suhaimi are recovering from long-term injuries, while the attacking trio of Shawal Anuar, Gilberto Fortunato and Shahfiq Ghani remains unfit. The Cheetahs are also sweating on the fitness of forwards Tomoyuki Doi and Khairul Nizam, as well as captain Fabian Kwok. Farhan Zulkifli is suspended.
Balestier have a largely fit squad and hope to have veteran full-back Ahmad Syahir back for selection after he missed the previous match due to injury.
- Hougang’s 1-0 win at Toa Payoh in April sparked a three-match losing streak for Balestier, which includes identical 4-1 defeats in their last two outings.
- Hougang have failed to beat Balestier in their last four encounters at Hougang Stadium since a 1-0 win in April 2017.
- There have been no goal-less draws in the last 10 encounters since a stalemate at Toa Payoh in July 2017.
Eagles out for revenge
Lion City Sailors vs Geylang International | 9 May | 8.30pm | Jalan Besar | StarHub Ch 201
Team news: The Sailors will continue to miss the services of wide players Nur Adam Abdullah and Justin Hui due to injury, but young forward Haiqal Pashia has now recovered and is now fit for selection.
As for Geylang, young forward Zikos Chua is away on NS while Umar Akhbar, Nur Luqman Rahman and Adam Hakeem remains on the treatment table. Wide man Christopher van Huizen is a possible doubt after missing the last game due to injury.
Club news: Geylang – Physical and mental strength required to overturn Sailors | Sailors – Main aim is to keep Sailors momentum going: Robin Chitrakar
- The Sailors have scored 15 goals in three encounters against Geylang since 2020, including the 8-0 victory last month – the Eagles’ heaviest defeat since 2005.
- Geylang have lost the last 12 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 could go six matches unbeaten in a season for the first time since their inception in 2020.
- The Sailors have scored in their last 20 SPL matches.
- Sailors’ interim head coach Robin Chitrakar will take charge of his first SPL match since November 2012 when he led Young Lions to a 0-0 draw against Home.