Singapore Premier League • August 4, 2022

2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 19: Preview

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Hougang United defender Anders Aplin shields the ball from Albirex Niigata (S) forward Tadanari Lee, 1 April 2022

 

SINGAPORE, 4 AUGUST 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League resumes on Friday night when Albirex Niigata (S) travel north-east to face Hougang United in the headline fixture of the Matchweek, which promises to be a thrilling encounter. On Saturday evening, Lion City Sailors will host Balestier Khalsa looking to return to winning ways, while Young Lions welcome Tanjong Pagar United on Sunday evening aiming to end a run of seven straight league defeats. The action will then conclude with Albirex facing off against Young Lions next Wednesday night, as the White Swans aim to potentially finish Matchweek 19 on top of the league standings. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!

 

READ: Matchweek 18 Roundup | WATCH: SPL Express

 

Albirex with opportunity to go top
Hougang United vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 5 August | 7.45pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202 

 

Team Form (last five league games):
Hougang United – DWDLW
Albirex Niigata (S) – WLWWW 

 

Team news: Besides missing Andre Moritz, who continues to recover from a fractured knee, Hougang will be without key defensive midfielder Zulfahmi Arifin – nursing a knee injury – for the next three to four weeks. 

 

Albirex striker Tadanari Lee came off the bench to score in the last fixture against the Sailors but is still lacking match fitness and could be left on the bench again, while defender Shogo Toyomura remains injured.  

 

Facts 

  • Albirex, with a win, have the opportunity to go top of the league for the first time this season since Matchweek 3, when they occupied first position on goal difference following a 1-1 draw with the Sailors before Tanjong Pagar reclaimed supremacy one day later. 
  • Hougang are firmly in the race for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualification – awarded to the second-best placed local team – as they are just five points behind Tanjong Pagar in third position. 
  • The White Swans have won the last five out of six league meetings with Hougang, only failing to beat the Cheetahs in a 1-1 draw during Matchweek 4 this season. 
  • Hougang were unbeaten in all four meetings (three league, one cup) against Albirex during the 2019 season; that was the last time the Cheetahs defeated the White Swans, as they notched three wins and one draw. 
  • Albirex winger Masahiro Sugita has scored in each of his two appearances against Hougang this season. 
  • Shawal Anuar has three goals in his last four appearances for Hougang and is the Cheetah’s second-top goal scorer with five goals, three behind teammate Pedro Bortoluzo. 

 

Historically smooth sailing for the Sailors
Lion City Sailors vs Balestier Khalsa | 6 August | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202 

 

Team Form (last five league games):
Lion City Sailors – WDDWL
Balestier Khalsa – LDLLW 

 

Team news: The Sailors have a fully-fit squad with the exception of defender Zulqarnaen Suzliman, who is still not 100% match-fit. 

 

Balestier will miss Akram Azman, who is down with COVID-19, while winger Daniel Goh is a doubt for the game as he is nursing a fever. Goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah is unavailable against his parent club. 

 

Facts 

  • While the Sailors are still top of the league by two points, second-placed Albirex will regain top spot if they win their game in hand. 
  • Balestier have only won two of their last ten league matches and are currently languishing in seventh place with just 17 points accumulated, six points behind Geylang just above them. 
  • The Sailors have won six of their last seven league meetings with Balestier – all by at least a three-goal winning margin – with the exception of a 1-1 draw in August 2021. 
  • Despite conceding the league’s lowest total of 18 goals, the Sailors have only kept one clean sheet in their last six league games. 
  • Song Uiyoung is the Sailors’ joint-second goal scorer with six league goals – the Singapore international has scored in each of his last three appearances against Balestier. 
  • Tigers top scorer Shuhei Hoshino has 10 league goals to his name this season, but “Jumbo” has never scored against the Sailors in seven attempts.

 

Jaguars face struggling Young Lions
Young Lions vs Tanjong Pagar United | 7 August | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202 

 

Team Form (last five league games):
Young Lions – LLLLL
Tanjong Pagar United – LWDWL  

 

Team news: Young Lions will be without left-back Harith Kanadi, who will serve a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation. Umayr Sujuandy has returned to full training, but Fairuz Fazli remains 10 to 12 days away from full fitness. Captain Jacob Mahler also continues to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament injury that will rule him out of the season. 

 

Mirko Šugić and Shakir Hamzah both remained sidelined for the Jaguars, while wing-back Aqhari Abdullah is also out with a hamstring strain. Forward Khairul Nizam will likely miss this fixture with illness, but Ryan Syaffiq returns from injury alongside Raihan Rahman, who has completed his one-match suspension. 

 

Facts 

  • Tanjong Pagar currently occupy the only guaranteed AFC Cup qualification spot, four points clear of Tampines and five points ahead of Hougang. 
  • In their last six league meetings, the Jaguars have triumphed on four occasions, drawn once, and lost once to Young Lions. 
  • Young Lions have failed to score in four of their last five league matches. 
  • Jaguars captain and defender Faritz Hameed has scored in each of his last two appearances against Young Lions. 
  • Reo Nishiguchi leads Tanjong Pagar’s scoring charts with 16 goals this season, more than the goal tally of all other squad players combined (15).  

 

David vs Goliath
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Young Lions | 10 August | 7.45pm | Jurong East  

 

Team Form (last five league games): (to be updated)

 

Team news: (to be updated) 

 

Facts 

  • Albirex have won all of their last 19 league matches against Young Lions. 
  • The White Swans were victorious by the same score line of 5-0 in both previous meetings this season in Matchweek 2 and Matchweek 16. 
  • Joel Chew was the last player to score for Young Lions against Albirex, in a 2-1 defeat during May 2021. 
  • Kodai Tanaka has scored a brace in each of his two appearances against Young Lions this season. 

 

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