Singapore Premier League • September 8, 2022

2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 24: Preview


Zehrudin Mehmedović of Tampines Rovers tries to evade Diego Lopes of Lion City Sailors, 21 May 2022


SINGAPORE, 8 SEPTEMBER 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) kicks off this weekend with Tanjong Pagar United hosting Balestier Khalsa on Friday night. Come Saturday evening, the league’s top two teams – tied on goal difference – play at the same time as the Lion City Sailors travel to face Tampines Rovers at Our Tampines Hub, while Albirex Niigata (S) host the Young Lions in a bid to reclaim top spot. The action concludes with Geylang International playing Hougang United – with potential qualification for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup on the line. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!


READ: Matchweek 23 Roundup | SPL Express


Jaguars ready to pounce back
Tanjong Pagar United vs Balestier Khalsa | 9 September | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Tanjong Pagar United – LLLLD
Balestier Khalsa – LWLLL


Team news: For Tanjong Pagar, goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad is out with a hip injury as is forward Khairul Nizam with a calf strain. Top scorer Reo Nishiguchi is suspended after picking up his fourth yellow card last week. Veteran defender Shakir Hamzah could potentially make a return, having suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury last December.


Interim head coach Peter de Roo will continue to miss Delwinder Singh (groin strain) and Amer Hakeem (foot injury). The trio of Ensar Bruncevic (knee injury), Asshukrie Wahid (ankle injury) and Naufal Azman (knee injury) are also ruled out. Defender Ho Wai Loon is suspended, but Balestier will be boosted by the return of goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah from a foot injury.



  • Tanjong Pagar have won all three meetings this season and kept clean sheets in the most recent two fixtures.
  • Coach Hasrin Jailani’s men have lost five of their last six matches, which has led to Tanjong Pagar falling out of the top half.
  • De Roo will be searching for his first victory; the Dutchman oversaw an entertaining 5-3 defeat to Albirex Niigata (S) last weekend.
  • Tanjong Pagar have a league-high seven goals scored from indirect free-kick situations.
  • Tanjong Pagar have made a league-most 1,226 ball interceptions.
  • Shuhei Hoshino has netted exactly half of Balestier’s goal tally of 32.
  • Balestier rank the lowest in the league for both number of shots (234) and shots on target (93).


League leaders at risk
Tampines Rovers vs Lion City Sailors | 10 September | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Tampines Rovers – WLWWW
Lion City Sailors – WWWWL


Team news: Tampines will only miss long-term absentee Marc Ryan Tan.


Sailors defenders Zulqarnaen Suzliman and Aniq Raushan are still ruled out, as is forward Amiruldin Asraf. Brazilian defender Pedro Henrique is a major doubt and will likely be absent from this fixture. Interim head coach Luka Lalić will have to do without suspended pair Hariss Harun and Hafiz Nor, though he will welcome Song Uiyoung’s return from suspension.



  • Lalić lost his first match against Geylang last week after winning his opening three games by whopping 10-1, 7-0 and 9-4 score lines.
  • Tampines have failed to beat the Sailors in each of their past seven league meetings, including five losses in a row.
  • The Sailors are the only team in the league not to have dropped points when leading at half-time, winning on all 14 occasions.
  • The Sailors have registered 86 offsides, the most in the league.
  • Tampines continue to be the only team in the league to not have scored within the first ten minutes of a game.
  • Tampines have a league-high average of 61 per cent ball possession.
  • Kim Shin-wook has 20 league goals for the Sailors but none with his left foot (12 right-footed, eight headers).


White Swans in full flow
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Young Lions | 10 September | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 204


Team Form (last five league games):
Albirex Niigata (S) – WDWWW
Young Lions – LLLLL


Team news: For Albirex, defender Daichi Omori is suspended. Shogo Toyomura and Yoshiki Matsuura are injured, as is Fairoz Hasan. Head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga will be boosted by the return of Hilman Norhisam from injury.


Captain Jacob Mahler remains a long-term absentee for Young Lions. Nazri Nasir will also be without up to nine players, who will be representing the Singapore Under-19s at the AFC U20 Asian Cup Qualifiers.



  • Albirex have won all of the last 20 league meetings; they did not concede on 12 occasions.
  • Young Lions are on a six-game losing streak and have only won once in their last 15 matches – a 4-2 victory over Tanjong Pagar in Matchweek 19.
  • Albirex have scored an unrivalled eight goals from corner-kick situations.
  • Albirex have a league-leading tally of shots on target – 189.
  • Young Lions have in turn conceded the league’s highest total of 20 goals from set-piece situations.
  • Albirex are the only side not to have lost when drawing at half-time, winning twice and drawing twice.
  • Kodai Tanaka, the league’s joint-top scorer with 28 goals, bagged his second four-goal haul of the season in the last Matchweek.
  • The Young Lions have taken the lead in only five matches this season, the least of any side.


Soaring Eagles are favourites
Geylang International vs Hougang United | 11 September | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 202


Team Form (last five league games):
Geylang International – LDWWW
Hougang United – DLWLD


Team news: Fadli Kamis (anterior cruciate ligament) remains ruled out for the Eagles, while forward Šime Žužul will be a game-time decision after coming off injured last week.


Head coach Clement Teo will likely be without defender Lionel Tan who suffered a concussion last weekend. The 25-year-old defender underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan that gave the all-clear, but is still under observation. Midfielder Zulfahmi Arifin is still ruled out with a knee injury, and Kaishu Yamazaki will be absent from the squad due to disciplinary reasons. Defender Anders Aplin is suspended.



  • Geylang have won seven of their last ten league matches (two draws, one loss); only Albirex Niigata (S) have picked up more points during that same period.
  • Despite winning the last encounter in Matchweek 17, Geylang have failed to win the other four most recent meetings with Hougang (one draw, three losses).
  • The Eagles are in fourth place, three points clear of Tanjong Pagar and ahead of sixth-placed Hougang by four points.
  • Hougang have had 14 different goal scorers this season, second only to the Sailors (15).
  • Zaiful Nizam has kept a league-high eight clean sheets for Geylang, including a run of three in a row from Matchweek 13 to Matchweek 15.
  • Shawal Anuar equalled his best goal tally (ten) in a single league season with a brace against Tanjong Pagar last weekend.


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