Singapore Premier League • July 27, 2022

2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 18: Preview


Albirex Niigata (S) defender Jun Kobayashi (4) holds off Lion City Sailors counterpart Hariss Harun (14), 18 March 2022


SINGAPORE, 27 JULY 2022 – The league’s runaway top two teams will kick off Matchweek 18 of the AIA Singapore Premier League, as Albirex Niigata (S) host Lion City Sailors looking to reduce a five-point deficit on Friday night. Tampines Rovers will entertain Hougang United on Saturday evening with both sides reeling from recent defeats, while Tanjong Pagar United aim to extend their three-match unbeaten run against Geylang International on the same day. Then, Balestier Khalsa will attempt to get back to winning ways against the Young Lions on Sunday evening, before the week’s jam-packed local football action concludes with an enticing Eastern Derby – Geylang face off with Tampines next Wednesday night. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!


READ: Matchweek 17 Roundup


A match of utmost importance
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Lion City Sailors | 29 July | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 204


Team Form (last five league games):
Albirex Niigata (S) – WWLWW
Lion City Sailors – WWDDW


Team news: Sailors manager Kim Do-hoon will have a fully fit squad to pick from.


Albirex will still be without striker Tadanari Lee as he continues his rehabilitation from a collarbone injury, while defender Shogo Toyomura remains injured. Striker Ilhan Fandi is fit for selection despite being brought off early in a 5-0 win over Young Lions last weekend. Defender Jun Kobayashi is also available despite missing their last fixture.


(Correction: An earlier version of this indicated that Nur Adam Abdullah is suspended. He is not. We apologise for the error.)



  • Albirex are unbeaten in all previous seven of their league meetings against the Sailors.
  • Four of the last five league meetings between both teams have ended in score draws.
  • Albirex will close the gap to the Sailors at the top of the table to two points with a win on Friday, having played a game less.
  • The league’s highest scoring team (Albirex have scored 50 goals) will face the league’s best defensive team (Sailors have conceded 14 goals)
  • With his brace against the Young Lions last weekend, Albirex talisman Ilhan Fandi now has eight goals in his last six matches for Albirex, and ten for the season.
  • Sailors forward Kim Shin-wook has three goals in three appearances against Albirex.
  • Left-back Daichi Omori’s only goal for Albirex this season came against the Sailors in Matchweek 3.
  • Albirex’s Kan Kobayashi has made one assist in each of the White Swans’ two league games against the Sailors this season; he has six league assists in total.


Both sides reeling from defeats
Tampines Rovers vs Hougang United | 30 July | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 204


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


Team news: Both Tampines and Hougang will have fully-fit squads to select from, with the exception of long-term injury absentee Andre Moritz, who remains sidelined for the Cheetahs with a fractured knee.



  • Hougang have won four of the last five matches between both sides – including a 4-2 victory just two weeks ago.
  • The Cheetahs will leapfrog Tampines into fourth place with a win on Saturday – they currently trail the Stags by a point, having played a game more.
  • Tampines have only won once in their last five league matches and will be aiming to close a seven-point gap to third-placed Tanjong Pagar.
  • The last five league meetings between these teams have produced an enormous total of 35 goals – an average of seven goals per game.
  • Both teams lost during the last Matchweek by 2-1 scorelines – Hougang fell to Geylang, while Tampines lost to the Sailors.
  • Boris Kopitović has scored eight goals in his last five matches against the Cheetahs.
  • Shawal Anuar has scored in both games against Tampines this season; he has four league goals overall.
  • Hougang have a host of players on the cusp of suspension – Lionel Tan, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Nazrul Nazari, Pedro Bortoluzo and Farhan Zulkifli – who are all one yellow card away from a one-match ban. 


Jaguars face flying Eagles
Tanjong Pagar United vs Geylang International | 30 July | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 113, Starhub Ch 201


Team Form (last five league games):
Tanjong Pagar United – LLWDW
Geylang International – WWWDW


Team news: The trio of Mirko Šugić (ankle), Ryan Syaffiq (knee) and Shakir Hamzah (knee) remain sidelined for Tanjong Pagar. Defender Raihan Rahman is also suspended after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season, but captain Faritz Hameed has returned to training in a timely boost to manager Hasrin Jailani’s defensive options.


Geylang will welcome back Fareez Farhan from injury, but manager Mohd Noor Ali may be cautious with managing his minutes after a lengthy lay-off. The Eagles are also without long-term absentee Fadli Kamis (anterior cruciate ligament injury).



  • Tanjong Pagar have eight wins this season and have already bettered their 2020 and 2021 season points tally combined; they are currently on 29 points and sitting in third place.
  • Geylang are unbeaten in their last six league games (four wins, two draws) and are now in sixth-place, just two points behind fourth-placed Tampines, after a torrid start to the season.
  • Geylang have won three of the last five meetings between both sides – Tanjong Pagar have yet to defeat the Eagles this season (one draw, one loss).
  • Šime Žužul has now scored in four consecutive league games for the Eagles and will be looking to continue his scoring streak in this crucial fixture.
  • Reo Nishiguchi now has 16 league goals for the Jaguars after his brace last weekend, just two behind league-leading Boris Kopitović (18).


Tigers desperate for a result
Balestier Khalsa vs Young Lions | 31 July | 5.30pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 204


Team Form (last five league games):
Balestier Khalsa – WLDLL
Young Lions – LLLLL


Team news: Balestier have no injury concerns to report.


Young Lions are still without goalkeeper Umayr Sujuandy and midfielder Fairuz Fazli, while Jared Gallagher is suspended following his fourth yellow card of the season.



  • Balestier won both matches this season but failed to beat Young Lions during the 2021 season (two losses, one draw).
  • The Tigers are sitting snugly in seventh place with 14 points, six behind Geylang in sixth and ten points ahead of Young Lions at the bottom of the table.
  • Young Lions are on a nine-match win-less run and have suffered six consecutive league defeats.
  • Balestier’s Ryoya Taniguchi has scored in both fixtures this season; the Japanese has three goals in his last five appearances against Young Lions.
  • Young Lions have scored only 13 goals in 15 games this season; Zikos Chua is their top scorer with four goals.


High stakes in Eastern Derby
Geylang International vs Tampines Rovers | 3 August | 7.45pm | Our Tampines Hub |


Team Form (last five league games):
Geylang International –
Tampines Rovers –


Team news: For Tampines, winger Marc Ryan Tan has torn his anterior cruciate ligament muscle and will be ruled out for the rest of the season. Christopher van Huizen is available for selection after returning from reservist, while Zehrudin Mehmedović is also fit after missing the last fixture due to injury. However, key senior players Yasir Hanapi and Taufik Suparno are suspended for this match after picking up their seventh and fourth yellow cards of the season respectively.


Geylang manager Mohamed Noor Ali will have a fully fit squad to select from with no suspensions.



  • Tampines have won both encounters this season by 2-0 and 3-2 score lines.
  • There have been four red cards shown in the last six league meetings between both teams, indicating the feisty nature of the Eastern Derby.


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