Singapore Premier League • July 7, 2022

2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 15: Preview


Tanjong Pagar United’s Shodai Nishikawa shields the ball from Albirex Niigata (S)’s Daichi Omori, 25 February 2022


SINGAPORE, 7 JULY 2022 – The third of four rounds of the 2022 AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) kicks off with Albirex Niigata (S) looking to keep up their good run of form against Tanjong Pagar United, and Young Lions facing Geylang International on Friday night. As we cross the halfway mark of the season, both Tampines Rovers and Hougang United will be pushing to retain their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup spots when they travel to play Balestier Khalsa and Lion City Sailors respectively on Saturday evening. To round off a jam-packed week of local football action, Hougang then host Tampines next Wednesday night to make up for their game in hand from competing at the AFC Cup. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!


READ: Matchweek 14 Roundup


White Swans face bogey team
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Tanjong Pagar United | 8 July | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 201 


Team Form (last five league games):
Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWWW
Tanjong Pagar United – WWWLL


Team news: Albirex are still without the services of talisman Tadanari Lee, whose collarbone injury will keep him out for a few months. Defender Shogo Toyomura remains sidelined with a hamstring injury since making the bench for the White Swans’ opening-day defeat against the Jaguars.


For Tanjong Pagar, midfielder Hadiputradila Saswadimata has left the club after enlisting for National Service and third-choice goalkeeper Veer Karan Sobti is still away on national duty with the Singapore Under-19s for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U19 Championship. Rusyaidi Salime is also suspended for this fixture after picking up his fourth booking of the season, but striker Khairul Nizam has recovered from a hamstring strain and is available for selection.



  • Albirex have won one, drawn one and lost two of their last four head-to-head league matches against Tanjong Pagar.
  • Tanjong Pagar inflicted Albirex’s only defeat of the 2021 SPL season in Matchweek 13 (2-1), as well as their only defeat this season thus far in Matchweek 1 (2-0).
  • Albirex are on a six-match winning streak since a 3-3 draw to Tampines in April 2022, including winning their last three home games.
  • Jaguars talisman Reo Nishiguchi has scored five goals in his last four appearances against Albirex.
  • Kodai Tanaka is Albirex’s top scorer with 14 goals – eight of which have been headers.


Eagles aim to make it three in a row
Young Lions vs Geylang International | 8 July | 7.45pm | Jalan Besar


Team Form (last five league games):
Young Lions – LDLLL
Geylang International– LLDWW


Team news: Besides still missing a clutch of players away at the AFF U19 Championships, a depleted Young Lions squad will also be without first-choice goalkeeper Ridhwan Fikri and left-back Harith Kanadi. However, Danish Qayyum will be available for selection after serving out the last of his two-match suspension in the last Matchweek.


Geylang are without long-term absentee Fadli Kamis (anterior cruciate ligament injury), as well as Kieran Teo away on Singapore U19 duty. Huzaifah Aziz is available after returning from his one-match suspension.



  • Young Lions have picked up all four of their SPL points this season against Geylang – a 4-1 win in Matchweek 6 followed by a 2-2 draw in Matchweek 11.
  • This matchup has traditionally produced high-scoring affairs with 22 goals in their last five league meetings – averaging 4.4 goals per game.
  • Geylang have won consecutive league matches for the first time since August 2021, when they beat Balestier and Tanjong Pagar both by 3-1 score-lines.
  • The Eagles’ Hazzuwan Halim netted his 30th SPL goal last Saturday – he has two goals in his last two starts for Geylang.


Both sides look to rebound
Balestier Khalsa vs Tampines Rovers | 9 July | 5.30pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 111


Team Form (last five league games):
Balestier Khalsa – LLLWL
Tampines Rovers – WLLWL


Team news: Balestier suffer another blow to their central midfield options as Gareth Low is ruled out for this fixture, while Aqil Yazid is away with the Singapore U19s.


For Tampines, head coach Gavin Lee will be pleased to have a fully-fit squad with central midfielders Ong Yu En and Zehrudin Mehmedović returning from injury and suspension respectively.



  • Balestier have lost their last three home games since defeating Hougang 2-1 at Toa Payoh Stadium in Matchweek 5.
  • Balestier Head Coach Akbar Nawas has yet to get the better of his former team, with an opening day 2-2 draw followed by a 2-1 defeat to Tampines in Matchweek 7.
  • Tampines have only won one of their five away matches this season – a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over rivals Geylang in April.
  • Tampines’ league top scorer Boris Kopitović has faced Balestier eight times since joining the Stags in 2020 and scored eight times in total.


Leaders face resurgent Cheetahs
Lion City Sailors vs Hougang United | 9 July | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 201


Team Form (last five league games):
Lion City Sailors – WWLWW
Hougang United – DDWLW


Team news: The Sailors welcome back M. Anumanthan from suspension and have no other injury concerns. Zulqarnaen Suzliman is working his way back towards full match fitness.


As for Hougang, head coach Clement Teo will still not be able to call upon André Moritz, who is out for at least a month due to a fractured knee. Nazrul Nazari returns from suspension and Nazhiim Harman is available despite being absent from the matchday squad on Tuesday.



  • Since the Sailors were privatised in February 2020, they have scored at least one goal in every home league match.
  • Hougang were the only side to defeat the Sailors during the latter’s maiden title-winning season last year – also the Cheetahs’ last league win over the Sailors in March 2021.
  • The Cheetahs snapped a run of 10 consecutive win-less away matches in the league with a resounding 4-0 victory over Young Lions on Tuesday; the last time they won consecutive away league games was in August 2021 when they won four on the trot.
  • Sailors’ 1.96m-tall striker Kim Shin-Wook has scored four goals in his two appearances against Hougang this season.


Battle for AFC Cup spots
Hougang United vs Tampines Rovers | 13 July | 7.45pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Hougang United –
Tampines Rovers –


Team news: Neither team incurred suspensions during their weekend endeavours; rotation will likely come into play for both sides.



  • Both teams took turns to put seven past the other in each of their last two lopsided meetings – Hougang won 7-3 in September 2021, Tampines won 7-1 in March 2022.
  • Boris Kopitović has eight goals in his last five appearances against the Cheetahs. He is the league’s leading scorer with 16 goals, equalling his league haul from 2021.
  • Hougang will move one point clear of Tampines with a win on Wednesday into fourth place (the last AFC Cup slot), albeit having played a game more.
  • Since joining the club in 2020, Hougang defender Anders Aplin has scored at least a goal every season – three of the four have come from headers
  • Shawal Anuar has recorded assists in each of his last two league games (Young Lions and Sailors) – only Maxime Lestienne has more assists in consecutive matches this season (four)


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