Singapore Premier League • September 29, 2022

2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 25: Preview


Masaya Idetsu of Albirex Niigata (S) tries to evade Sahil Suhaimi of Hougang United, 19 June 2022


SINGAPORE, 29 SEPTEMBER 2022 – The return of AIA Singapore Premier League action (SPL) after the international break begins on Saturday evening with a double header as the Young Lions travel to Tanjong Pagar United aiming to snap a seven-game losing streak. Concurrently, Tampines Rovers face off with Geylang International in the Eastern Derby with the opportunity to seal third place. On Sunday evening, reigning champions Lion City Sailors play away at Balestier Khalsa with the intention to reduce a three-point deficit to league leaders Albirex Niigata (S), who welcome Hougang United to the Jurong East Stadium at the same time. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!


READ: Matchweek 24 Roundup | SPL Express


Jaguars chase top-half finish
Tanjong Pagar United vs Young Lions | 1 October | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111


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


Team news: For Tanjong Pagar, top scorer Reo Nishiguchi and Akram Azman will both return from suspension, alongside goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad from injury. Everyone else is available for selection.


Captain Jacob Mahler remains absent for Young Lions. The trio of Arshad Shamim, Syahrul Sazali, Faizal Moritz will miss this fixture due to National Service obligations. Forward Glenn Kweh is also ruled out with Covid-19, while Elijah Lim is a doubt having just recovered from illness.



  • Tanjong Pagar are in fifth place due to goal difference; the Jaguars can move back into the top half as long as they better Geylang’s result this week.
  • Tanjong Pagar have won three of their last five meetings with Young Lions (one draw, one loss).
  • Young Lions have lost each of their last seven league games and are confirmed to be last in the league.
  • Tanjong Pagar have committed the least fouls per game (11) in the league.
  • Despite scoring the least number of goals (25) in the league, Young Lions have the highest number of dribbles attempted per game (24), tied with Hougang.
  • Nazri Nasir’s side broke a two-match score-less drought with defender Syed Akmal’s goal last Matchweek.
  • Tanjong Pagar defender Raihan Rahman has six assists this season, all coming from set-pieces: four indirect free-kicks and two corners.


High-stakes Eastern Derby
Tampines Rovers vs Geylang International | 1 October | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 203


Team Form (last five league games):
Tampines Rovers – LWWWW
Geylang International – DWWWL


Team news: Tampines will be without captain Yasir Hanapi through suspension, while Marc Ryan Tan is still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury and is enlisting for National Service this week.


Mohd Noor Ali will have a fully-fit squad except captain Fadli Kamis (anterior cruciate ligament).



  • Anything but a victory for Geylang here will see them be mathematically eliminated from a top-three finish.
  • A win for Tampines, coupled with defeats for Tanjong Pagar and Hougang, will see them seal a top-three finish.
  • The last five meetings in the derby have produced 21 yellow cards and three red cards.
  • Tampines have averaged 573 passes per game this season with an accuracy of 87 per cent; both the highest in the league.
  • Compared to last season, Geylang have improved their expected goals (xG) per game from 1.44 to 1.67.
  • Boris Kopitović’s 29 goals this calendar year places him as the worldwide top goal scorer in all first-tier leagues in 2022, ahead of Paris Saint Germain’s Kylian Mbappe (26) and Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski (24), according to Transfermarkt.


Must-win for Sailors
Balestier Khalsa vs Lion City Sailors | 2 October | 5.30pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 201


Team Form (last five league games):
Balestier Khalsa – WLLLL
Lion City Sailors – WWWLL



Team news: Interim head coach Peter de Roo will continue to miss Amer Hakeem (foot injury). The trio of Ensar Bruncevic (medial collateral ligament), Khalili Khalif (hamstring), and Naufal Azman (anterior cruciate ligament) are also ruled out. Goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah has recovered from a foot injury but cannot play in this fixture against his parent club.


Sailors defender Pedro Henrique is still ruled out, as is forward Amiruldin Asraf. Zulqarnaen Suzliman is unlikely to be match fit. Interim head coach Luka Lalić will also be boosted by Song Uiyoung’s return from suspension and injury.



  • Balestier will be confirmed as the seventh-place finisher if they fail to win this fixture.
  • Balestier have lost 14 of the 16 matches when they conceded the first goal.
  • The Sailors have won seven and drawn one of their eight league meetings with Balestier.
  • The Sailors have lost back-to-back league games for the first time since their inception in 2020.
  • Lalić’s men will confirm a top-two finish with a win.
  • Balestier’s Shuhei Hoshino has averaged 1.33 key passes per game this season, compared to Hougang’s Pedro Bortoluzo (0.27) and Tampines’ Boris Kopitović (0.46).
  • Maxime Lestienne with 20 assists for the Sailors is the league’s top assist-maker.


White Swans aim to keep top spot
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Hougang United | 2 October | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, Starhub Ch 201


Team Form (last five league games):
Albirex Niigata (S) – DWWWW
Hougang United – LWLDW


Team news: For Albirex, Shogo Toyomura and Yoshiki Matsuura are ruled out. Head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga will be boosted by the return of Hilman Norhisham from injury.


Head coach Clement Teo will have a fully-fit squad to select from other than Kaishu Yamazaki, who will be absent due to disciplinary reasons.



  • Albirex have confirmed a top-two finish for the third consecutive year – their sixth in seven seasons.
  • Albirex are unbeaten in their last eight meetings with Hougang (six wins, two draws).
  • Hougang could potentially leapfrog both Geylang and Tanjong Pagar into fourth position with a win.
  • Head coach Clement Teo’s side have recorded an average of 1.92 expected goals (xG) per game this season, a significant rise from the average of 1.53 last season.
  • Albirex top scorer Kodai Tanaka now has 28 league goals – a club-record tally surpassing the previous mark of 26 goals during the 2017 season by Tsubasa Sano.
  • Hougang’s Kristijian Krajček has 18 goal contributions – six goals and 12 assists – his most productive league season ever since arriving in Singapore in 2019.


*All statistics powered by InStat


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