Singapore Premier League • August 17, 2022

2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 21: Preview


Lion City Sailors midfielder M. Anumanthan (L) and Tanjong Pagar United midfielder Mirko Šugić challenge for the ball, 9 April 2022


SINGAPORE, 17 AUGUST 2022 – Matchweek 21 of the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) begins on Friday night with Albirex Niigata (S) aiming to close a three-point gap to league leaders Lion City Sailors when they host Tampines Rovers, who are chasing Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualification. The Sailors then face a tricky test against a Tanjong Pagar United side that has lost three matches on the bounce, while Hougang United will look to return to winning ways against the Young Lions on Saturday evening. Bottom-half teams Geylang International and Balestier Khalsa face off on Sunday evening, before Tampines Rovers round up the week’s action with their game-in-hand against the Young Lions on Wednesday night. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!


READ: Matchweek 20 Roundup  | WATCH: SPL Express


White Swans meet in-form Stags
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Tampines Rovers | 19 August | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Albirex Niigata (S) – WWDWD
Tampines Rovers – WLLWW


Team news: For Albirex, both defender Shogo Toyomura and midfielder Hilman Norhisam have been ruled out due to injury.


Tampines continue to be without long-term absentee Marc Ryan Tan, while Irwan Shah is suspended. Assistant manager Mustafic Fahrudin will serve the second of his three-match touchline ban.



  • Albirex are unbeaten in their last six matches but currently trail league leaders Sailors by three points.
  • Tampines will move ahead of Tanjong Pagar into third position if they avoid defeat in this fixture.
  • Three of the last five meetings have ended in draws; Albirex won the other two matches.
  • Tampines were the only team to defeat Albirex in the White Swans’ title-winning 2020 SPL season; the Stags triumphed 2-0 at home and 4-1 away.
  • The league’s top scorer Boris Kopitović has netted a brace on three occasions against Albirex; the Montenegrin has seven goals in his last five appearances against the White Swans.
  • Albirex defender and captain Jun Kobayashi has scored in each of their two meetings this season.


Wounded Jaguars play league leaders
Lion City Sailors vs Tanjong Pagar United | 20 August | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Lion City Sailors – DWLWW
Tanjong Pagar United – DWLLL


Team news: The Sailors will be without defender Nur Adam Abdullah, who picked up his seventh yellow card last weekend. Defenders Zulqarnaen Suzliman and Aniq Raushan will sit out due to injury.


For Tanjong Pagar, starting goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad is a doubt for this match with an adductor issue. Head coach Hasrin Jailani will be absent from the touchline after picking up his second yellow card of the season. Ryan Syaffiq (strained soleus) and Shakir Hamzah (anterior cruciate ligament) are still ruled out, while defender Akram Azman – serving the last of his two-match ban – and midfielder Blake Ricciuto are also suspended for the Jaguars. However, Aqhari Abdullah has recovered from his hamstring strain and is available for selection.



  • The Sailors currently lead the league by three points and also have a better goal difference of five against title rivals Albirex.
  • Tanjong Pagar have never beaten the Sailors in their seven league meetings (one draw, six losses); the Jaguars were sunk 6-1 in Matchday 6 and 6-0 in Matchday 13 this season.
  • Sailors interim head coach Luka Lalić is fresh off a club-record 10-1 drubbing of Young Lions last weekend.
  • Tanjong Pagar are on a dismal three-game losing streak, the first time they have experienced this since April 2021 when they lost their opening four matches.
  • Reo Nishiguchi has opened the scoring for Tanjong Pagar in ten of the 17 games in which they have found the net.
  • Sailors talisman Kim Shin-wook has now netted in three consecutive league games, including his third hat-trick for the club against Young Lions last weekend.


Hougang aim to bounce back
Hougang United vs Young Lions | 20 August | 5.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 112


Team Form (last five league games):
Hougang United – DLWDL
Young Lions – LLWLL


Team news: Midfielders Zulfahmi Arifin and André Moritz remain sidelined for the Cheetahs, while key starters Nazrul Nazari and Pedro Bortoluzo are also ruled out due to suspension.


Captain Jacob Mahler remains a long-term absentee for Young Lions but head coach Nazri Nasir will welcome midfielder Shah Shahiran back from suspension.



  • Hougang have won both encounters against Young Lions this season – 2-1 in Matchweek 6 and 4-0 in Matchweek 13.
  • Sahil Suhaimi has scored for the Cheetahs in both meetings against Young Lions this season.
  • Young Lions have only won one of their last 13 league matches; they are rooted to the bottom of the table with seven points, 13 behind seventh-placed Balestier.
  • The last time Hougang failed to score against Young Lions was in July 2019 when they lost 1-0; Mahler scored the winner in that fixture.
  • Zikos Chua is Young Lions’ top scorer with eight goals; the 20-year-old, who has one assist, has played a part in 39 per cent of their goals this season. 


Sixth versus seventh
Geylang International vs Balestier Khalsa | 21 August | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Geylang International – DWWLD
Balestier Khalsa – LLWLW


Team news: Defender Fadli Kamis (anterior cruciate ligament) remains ruled out for the Eagles, together with Umar Akhbar who will serve the first of his two-match suspension for a direct red card. Geylang will however welcome back Ahmad Syahir from suspension.


Balestier’s 13-goal striker Shuhei Hoshino will serve a one-game ban for yellow card accumulation, while Naufal Azman is sidelined by injury. This will be the second-last match in charge for Akbar Nawas, who has tendered his resignation.



  • Both sides are split at three wins apiece in the last six meetings.
  • The last time this fixture ended in a draw was a stalemate during a Singapore Cup match in August 2018.
  • Balestier come into this fixture fresh off a club-record 6-1 trouncing of Hougang in Matchweek 19.
  • Geylang forward Šime Žužul has netted in his each of his last seven league matches. He is only two games away from matching his own record of scoring in nine straight SPL games, set when he was playing for opponents Balestier in 2021.


Stags pushing for third spot
Young Lions vs Tampines Rovers | 24 August | 7.45pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Young Lions –
Tampines LLWWL


Team news: For Tampines, Ryaan Sanizal and Christopher van Huizen are both suspended for this fixture and Marc Ryan Tan remains out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Midfielder Zehrudin Mehmedović is ‘doing fine’ but is still a doubt for this game.


Young Lions are without Jacob Mahler (anterior cruciate ligament injury) but have a fully-fit squad otherwise.



  • Tampines have won all of their last seven meetings with Young Lions; including a 3-2 victory in Matchweek 6 when they went down 2-0 in the opening 22 minutes.
  • Stags forward Taufik Suparno has four goals in his last four appearances against Young Lions.
  • Stags midfielder Kyoga Nakamura has two goals in his last three matches, while league joint-top scorer Boris
    Kopitović has scored in nine of his last 10 matches, tallying 12 goals.
  • August 2018 was the last time Young Lions triumphed over Tampines; Ikhsan and Irfan Fandi – both now playing for BG Pathum United in Thai League 1 – scored a goal each for Young Lions in a 2-1 win.


Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!