Singapore Premier League • May 25, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 11: Preview
Geylang International midfielder Huzaifah Aziz shields the ball from Albirex Niigata (S) forward Kodai Tanaka, 5 April 2022.
SINGAPORE, 25 MAY 2022 – With leaders Lion City Sailors not in action this week, Albirex Niigata (S) will be looking to close the gap between them to six points when they host Geylang International in this week’s featured AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) match. Meanwhile fourth-placed Tampines Rovers are out to bounce back as they visit Tanjong Pagar United, while Hougang United and Balestier Khalsa face off in a battle between out-of-form sides. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!
READ: Matchweek 10 Roundup
Baptism of fire for struggling Eagles
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Geylang International | 27 May | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 201
Team news: There is good news in the Albirex camp, with Shogo Toyomura fit again after a three-month layoff due to injury, while new signing Ilhan Fandi has begun training with the team although he is not fully match fit yet.
As for Geylang, they are looking better in terms of numbers in recent weeks – Fadli Kamis and Joshua Pereira are the only confirmed absentees.
- The last time both sides met in April, Geylang drew 2-2 to avoid defeat for the first time in seven meetings in all competitions.
- Geylang have lost and not scored on all their last 11 visits to Jurong East to face Albirex in all competitions, since a 4-2 loss on 8 May 2014.
- Albirex are unbeaten in their last eight matches, while Geylang are win-less for the same number.
- Albirex have no clean sheets in their last six outings, while Geylang have one in their last eight.
- Geylang are win-less in their last seven away matches since a 3-1 win against Tanjong Pagar at the same venue in August 2021.
Cheetahs and Tigers out to improve
Hougang United vs Balestier Khalsa | 28 May | 5.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 113
Team news: With Ridhuan Barudin, Idraki Adnan and Zulfahmi Arifin all still unavailable, Hougang have received further injury blows with captain Fabian Kwok and star signing André Moritz both ruled out as well. The consolation is that Nazrul Nazari is finally set to return after a three-match absence.
For Balestier, the situation remains the same with Amer Hakeem and Aarish Kumar still on the sidelines.
- Balestier have won the last two encounters, albeit at Toa Payoh.
- There have been at least three goals scored in six out of the last seven encounters.
- Both Hougang and Balestier have failed to win their past three matches.
- Hougang have lost just one out of their last five home matches, while Balestier have won just one out of their last 17 away matches since December 2020.
- A victory will see Hougang win back-to-back home matches against Balestier for the first time since their 2011 inception.
- A clean sheet will see Hougang’s Mukundan Maran keep two consecutive shutouts for the first time since July 2018.
Jaguars hope to spring another surprise
Tanjong Pagar United vs Tampines Rovers | 28 May | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 201
Team news: Tanjong Pagar will welcome back captain Faritz Hameed and Aqhari Abdullah from suspension, but the versatile Faizal Raffi will serve the first of his two-match ban due to his red card in last Friday’s 1-0 victory against Balestier. Defenders Shakir Hamzah and Shahrin Saberin remain unavailable.
Meanwhile Tampines will miss influential skipper Yasir Hanapi due to a one-match suspension for the accumulation of four yellow cards, but the trio of Christopher van Huizen, Ong Yu En and Iman Hakim are set to return for selection after recovering from illness.
- Tanjong Pagar have come from behind to draw in four out of the last five encounters, including the last two meetings at Jurong East.
- Tanjong Pagar have yet to beat Tampines since their 2020 SPL return though, with four draws and two defeats.
- 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.
- Tanjong Pagar’s last home win against Tampines was in May 2013 in a 1-0 victory at Queenstown.
- A victory will see Tanjong Pagar win two straight home games for the first time since October 2014.
- Tampines are the only team, along with the Young Lions, who are yet to keep a clean sheet in 2022.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Reo Nishiguchi is looking to score in four straight games for the first time since netting in the first five matches of the 2020 season.