Singapore Premier League • August 11, 2022

2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 20: Preview


Reo Nishiguchi of Tanjong Pagar United holds off Irfan Najeeb of Tampines Rovers, 28 May 2022


SINGAPORE, 11 AUGUST 2022 – Balestier Khalsa and Hougang United will kick off Matchweek 20 of the AIA Singapore Premier League on Friday night, as the Cheetahs aim to regain ground in the race for an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualification spot. Then, Lion City Sailors will attempt to extend their lead atop the league table when they face Young Lions and third-placed Tanjong Pagar United host fourth-placed Tampines Rovers on Saturday evening. Finally, Albirex Niigata (S) will be hoping to make up lost ground in the title race when they host high-flying Geylang International on Sunday evening. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!


READ: Matchweek 19 Roundup | WATCH: SPL Express


Hougang aim to build momentum
Balestier Khalsa vs Hougang United | 12 August | 7.45pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Balestier Khalsa – DLLWL
Hougang United – WDLWD


Team news: Balestier will be without the trio of Naufal Azman, Asshukrie Wahid and Gareth Low to injury. Akmal Azman and Daniel Goh return from illness, while loanee goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah will be available for selection after missing last weekend’s fixture against parent club Sailors.


Hougang continue to be without key defensive midfielder Zulfahmi Arifin (knee) for the next few weeks. Andre Moritz is still sidelined with a fractured knee.



  • Balestier have only won once in their last six league matches.
  • Hougang trail Tanjong Pagar – occupying the much coveted third spot – by four points with nine games left to be played.
  • 19 goals have been scored their last four meetings, with Balestier and Hougang winning two games apiece.
  • In Hougang’s last five league games, either Pedro Bortoluzo (seven goals, one assist) or Shawal Anuar (four goals, one assist) have played a part in 12 of their last 14 goals.
  • Ryoya Taniguchi is the only Balestier player to have played every single minute of their 19 league games this season.


Sailors face bottom-dwellers
Young Lions vs Lion City Sailors | 13 August | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | StarHub Ch 201


Team Form (last five league games):
Young Lions –
Lion City Sailors –


Team news: Young Lions will miss defender Danial Scott Crichton (COVID-19) and captain Jacob Mahler remains a long-term absentee. Key midfielder Shah Shahiran is also suspended for this fixture. However, left-back Harith Kanadi returns from suspension, alongside Umayr Sujuandy and Fairuz Fazli from injury.


Of course, the big news for the Sailors is that they have parted ways today with Kim Do-hoon, who leaves the club by mutual agreement. The Sailors will be without midfielder Saifullah Akbar due to suspension but will have a fully-fit squad otherwise. Defender Zulqarnaen Suzliman is still regaining match fitness.



  • Currently holding a one-point advantage over Albirex, league leaders Sailors have the opportunity to extend their lead to four points though they will have played one extra game.
  • The Sailors have beaten Young Lions in all of their seven league meetings, keeping clean sheets in four of those matches.
  • Only one member of the current Young Lions squad has ever scored against the Sailors – Glenn Kweh.
  • In 52 minutes against Tanjong Pagar last week, Zikos Chua became the youngest ever player in league history to score four goals in a single fixture; he is Young Lions’ top scorer with eight goals.
  • Gabriel Quak has scored six goals in seven matches against Young Lions when playing for the Sailors.


Jaguars and Stags battle for third spot
Tanjong Pagar United vs Tampines Rovers | 13 August | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Tanjong Pagar United – WDWLL
Tampines Rovers – LWLLW 


Team news: The trio of Ryan Syaffiq (strained soleus), Aqhari Abdullah (hamstring), and Shakir Hamzah (anterior cruciate ligament) are all ruled out. Defender Akram Azman is serving the first of a two-match ban for a straight red card in the last fixture, and midfielder Mirko Šugić has re-joined training but is not fully match fit yet.


For Tampines, Head Coach Gavin Lee has a fully-fit squad with the exception of Marc Ryan Tan, who is ruled out with a long-term injury. Assistant Coach Mustafic Fahrudin will serve a three-match touchline suspension for his part in a disciplinary case.



  • Tampines (fourth) with a game in hand are only four points behind Tanjong Pagar (third), a win for either side will hand them a huge boost towards AFC Cup qualification – likely to be awarded to the league’s third-placed team.
  • Tampines have scored at least two goals in each of their last seven encounters with Tanjong Pagar.
  • Four of the last six meetings between both sides have ended in score draws; Tampines and Tanjong Pagar have won one game apiece.
  • Jaguars talisman Reo Nishiguchi has 17 league goals this season, also netting five goals in his last four appearances against Tampines. He is one goal away from matching Sutee Suksomkit’s haul of 18 for Tanjong Pagar during the 2002 season – the record tally by any player for the club in one season.
  • Boris Kopitović is in red-hot form with six goals in the last five games; he is also the league’s joint-top scorer with 22 goals in 18 starts.


White Swans meet high-flying Eagles
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Geylang International | 14 August | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Albirex Niigata (S) – WWWDW
Geylang International – WDWWL


Team news: Albirex are still without the injured Shogo Toyomura. Kodai Tanaka has an ankle sprain, who is the league’s joint-top scorer with 22 goals, took a knock on the ankle in their last game and will be a doubt for this. Hilman Norhisam has a minor injury and could feature.


Ahmad Syahir will serve a one-match suspension for Geylang after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season. Fadli Kamis (anterior cruciate ligament) remains sidelined.



  • Albirex are unbeaten against Geylang in their last eight meetings (seven wins, one draw).
  • The White Swans thrashed the Eagles 8-2 when these two sides met most recently in Matchweek 10.
  • The last time Geylang beat Albirex was in July 2019; when former striker Zikos Chua scored an injury-time winner for Geylang to triumph 1-0.
  • Geylang forward Šime Žužul has netted in his last six consecutive league matches. He is aiming to match or better a similar streak (nine) he embarked on with Balestier last season.
  • Tanaka has scored three separate hat-tricks for Albirex this season – the most in the league.


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