Singapore Premier League • March 9, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 3: Preview
Tampines Rovers star Zehrudin Mehmedović in action against Balestier Khalsa, 26 February 2022.
SINGAPORE, 9 MARCH 2022 – The first four-game Matchweek of the 2022 AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) season takes place this weekend, where champions Lion City Sailors will aim to bounce back against Tampines Rovers in the standout game. Hougang United are targeting their first win against buoyant Geylang International while elsewhere, surprise leaders Tanjong Pagar hope to continue their unbeaten start against Balestier Khalsa and the Young Lions kick-start their season with a tough clash against four-time champions Albirex Niigata (S). ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!
READ: Matchweek 2 Roundup
Cheetahs seek first win
Hougang United vs Geylang International | 11 Mar | 7.45pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Hougang welcome back the versatile Hafiz Sujad after he missed the first two matches due to injury but could miss a number of key players. Kristijan Krajček and Pedro Bortoluzo are still carrying knocks, while Farhan Zulkifli and Idraki Adnan are still not match-fit. Shahfiq Ghani is a doubt and Afiq Noor is already ruled out until at least April.
Geylang have a largely full-strength squad to call upon, with experienced centre-back Abdil Qaiyyim returning from suspension to boost their defensive options.
- Hougang won all three encounters in 2021 after a five-match win-less streak against the Eagles in all competitions previously.
- Geylang have scored at least a goal in each of the last 10 encounters in all competitions.
- Geylang’s Šime Žužul has scored in his last four starts against Hougang.
- Hougang’s Amy Recha has scored in five of his last six encounters in all competitions when he was still with Geylang.
- Shawal Anuar has scored in his last two appearances against the Eagles.
- Hougang have failed to win their last five SPL matches – their worst run of form since a seven-match run in March 2019.
- A win will see Geylang collect maximum points from their opening two games for the first time since 2007.
Stern test for Young Lions
Young Lions vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 12 Mar | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Young Lions have some issues to contend with – Jordan Emaviwe and Danish Irfan are ruled out for the long term, while key forward Ilhan Fandi is also doubtful after a recent bout of Covid-19. However, Harith Kanadi and Zikos Chua are fit and could make their club debuts.
As for Albirex, they are at full strength bar centre-back Reo Kunimoto, who is still recovering from a knee injury sustained in pre-season.
- Albirex have won the last 17 encounters since a 1-0 defeat at Jurong East in November 2015.
- Young Lions have only scored once in the last five encounters against the White Swans.
- Young Lions have conceded in each of their last 36 SPL matches since a 3-0 victory over Home United in September 2019.
- Young Lions last won a season-opening fixture in 2018, when they defeated Hougang United 2-0.
Jaguars looking to continue unbeaten start
Balestier Khalsa vs Tanjong Pagar United | 12 Mar | 5.30pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 201
Team news: Balestier could continue to miss defenders Amer Hakeem and Aqil Yazid, who sat out last Saturday’s 6-0 defeat to Albirex.
As for Tanjong Pagar, Rusyadi Salime remains doubtful due to injury while Daniel Bennett and Shakir Hamzah remain unavailable.
- Balestier are undefeated in the last nine encounters since a 3-1 loss in February 2013.
- Balestier are undefeated in their last five home games at Toa Payoh since a 3-2 defeat to Young Lions in July 2021.
- Balestier’s Delwinder Singh, Ammirul Emmran and Ignatius Ang are in line to face their former employers.
Champions look to show mettle
Lion City Sailors vs Tampines Rovers | 13 Mar | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: The Sailors will miss Brazilian centre-back Pedro Henrique as he serves the first of a two-match suspension for his red card in last Friday’s 1-0 defeat to Geylang, while Nur Adam Abdullah and Gabriel Quak are still not ready yet.
For Tampines, they have a largely-fit squad to call upon with no major injuries.
- The Sailors were undefeated against Tampines in 2021 and scored a total 13 goals across three encounters.
- Tampines are win-less in the last four encounters since a 4-0 thrashing at Our Tampines Hub in March 2020.
- The Sailors suffered their first loss in 20 matches against Geylang the last time out, while Tampines have won just one of their last 11 SPL matches since May 2021.
- The Sailors have kept just one clean sheet in 13 outings (including the AIA Community Shield) under Kim Do-hoon.
- Sailors’ Song Uiyoung have scored three goals in his last two starts against Tampines.
- Tampines could fail to win either of their opening two games for the first time since 2012.