Singapore Premier League • August 31, 2022

2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 23: Preview


Vincent Bezecourt of Geylang International tries to fend off Shahdan Sulaiman of Lion City Sailors, 14 May 2022


SINGAPORE, 31 AUGUST 2022 – The latest Matchweek of the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) begins with Albirex Niigata (S) aiming to stay in the title race when they travel on Friday evening to face Balestier Khalsa, who will be led by new head coach Peter de Roo. Then, Tampines Rovers face a Young Lions side struggling for form in a bid to strengthen their grip on third place. On the same Saturday evening, Hougang United host Tanjong Pagar United in what could be a pivotal battle for a top-three finish. Finally, league leaders Lion City Sailors round up the weekend’s action when they face a resurgent Geylang International at home on Sunday evening. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!


READ: Matchweek 22 Roundup 


Tigers go Dutch
Balestier Khalsa vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 2 September | 7.45pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Balestier Khalsa – WLWLL
Albirex Niigata (S) – DWDWW


Team news: In Peter de Roo’s first game in charge, he will have to do without a quintet of players. Delwinder Singh is down with dengue fever and Khalili Khalif has a hamstring concern, while Both Amer Hakeem and goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah are also out with foot injuries, and Keshav Kumar is carrying a groin strain.


For Albirex, defender Shogo Toyomura and midfielder Hilman Norhisam are still ruled out. The rest of the squad is fully fit.



  • Balestier will be led by interim head coach De Roo, formerly the technical director of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), for the remainder of the season.
  • The last time Balestier beat Albirex was in October 2015 – a 1-0 victory courtesy of a goal from Croatian attacker Robert Peričić.
  • Albirex have won all of their last five meetings against Balestier by an aggregate of 20-3.
  • Albirex have scored the most goals in the league from corner-kick situations (eight) while Balestier have the lowest with one.
  • Albirex have scored 21 headed goals, the most in the league; Balestier have conceded 16 of those, also the most in the league.
  • Tadanari Lee picked up a pair of assists for the second game running last time out; the White Swans’ veteran forward has nine assists for the season.
  • Ilhan Fandi has scored in his last four consecutive matches; the 19-year-old has five goals in his last five appearances, and has never scored in five consecutive matches before.
  • Masaya Idetsu has made the most number of assists directly at set-piece situations – once from an indirect free-kick and five from corner-kicks.


Stags pushing for top three
Young Lions vs Tampines Rovers | 3 September | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 204


Team Form (last five league games):
Young Lions – LLLLL
Tampines Rovers – WWLWW


Team news: Captain Jacob Mahler remains a long-term absentee for Young Lions, but midfielder Amir Syafiz has recovered from an ankle sprain. Nazri Nasir will also be boosted by the return of defender Syed Akmal from suspension.


Tampines are only without long-term absentee Marc Ryan Tan.



  • Young Lions have lost 12 of their last 13 matches, conceding 52 goals in the process.
  • Tampines have won the last eight meetings, although the Stags had to come back from a two-goal deficit to claim a 3-2 victory in Matchweek 7.
  • Abdul Rasaq has scored three of the Young Lions’ last five league goals.
  • Young Lions have conceded a league-high six goals from indirect free-kick situations.
  • Half of the Young Lions’ 40 goals conceded in the second half have come between the 56th to 74th minute mark.
  • League top scorer Boris Kopitović has scored 26 goals but none have been headers (23 right-footed, three left-footed).
  • Tampines are the only team not to have lost a match in which they have taken the lead, winning six and drawing twice this season.
  • Young Lions have not won any of the last 61 occasions on which they have conceded first in a league match, losing 54 and drawing seven times; the last time they did was on 1 August 2018, when they overcame a 1-0 deficit to beat Tampines Rovers 2-1.


Struggling sides aim to regain form
Hougang United vs Tanjong Pagar United | 3 September | 5.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Hougang United – WDLWL
Tanjong Pagar United – LLLLL


Team news: With the exception of midfielders Zulfahmi Arifin and Kaishu Yamazaki, head coach Clement Teo has a squad in a clean bill of health.


For Tanjong Pagar, Shakir Hamzah continues to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered last December. Striker Khairul Amri returns from suspension for the fixture. Akram Azman is suspended for this match after receiving an additional one-match ban for violent conduct during Tanjong Pagar’s fixture against the Young Lions on 7 August (updated as of 2 September 2022).



  • The last four meetings have ended in score draws.
  • Neither side have kept clean sheets in their last seven encounters after playing out a goal-less draw in November 2020.
  • Tanjong Pagar have fallen from third to fifth in the league following five straight league defeats; the Jaguars face the prospect of dropping to sixth with another defeat.
  • Tanjong Pagar have conceded eight times within the first ten minutes of a match, the most of any team in the league; it is also the highest such percentage (14 per cent of their 56 goals conceded).
  • Hougang have scored the league’s most goals in second-half injury time (four) and are the only team to have conceded none in the same period.
  • In-form Shawal Anuar has eight league goals for the Cheetahs; four apiece with both his dominant right foot and weaker left foot. He is two goals away from matching his best return in a season of 10 with Geylang International in 2017.
  • Both of these teams have scored six times from indirect free-kick situations, the most in the league.


Red-hot Sailors take on resilient Eagles
Lion City Sailors vs Geylang International | 4 September | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Lion City Sailors – LWWWW
Geylang International – WLDWW


Team news: Sailors defenders Zulqarnaen Suzliman and Aniq Raushan are still ruled out, as is forward Amiruldin Asraf. Interim coach Luka Lalić will also be without Singapore international Song Uiyoung due to suspension.


Defender Fadli Kamis (anterior cruciate ligament) remains ruled out for the Eagles, while Umar Akhbar is available for selection as he returns from a two-game ban. Tajeli Salamat is ineligible to face his parent club.



  • Geylang have limited the Sailors to only two goals in their last three encounters.
  • The Sailors have plundered 26 goals in their last three matches since interim manager Luka Lalić took charge.
  • With 10 goals scored from outside the box in open play, the Sailors lead the league in this metric.
  • The Sailors have been behind at half-time on only three occasions but have never won any of those matches (one draw, two losses).
  • Eagles’ mercurial forward Šime Žužul has scored in each of his last nine matches.


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