Singapore Premier League • April 8, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 7: Preview – Part 1
Diego Lopes runs at a defender, 6 April 2022.
SINGAPORE, 8 APRIL 2022 – We are back for another weekend of AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) action as champions Lion City Sailors take on unbeaten Tanjong Pagar United in a mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash, while the chasing pack of Tampines Rovers and Albirex Niigata (S) face off. Elsewhere, Geylang International and Balestier Khalsa do battle while struggling sides Hougang United and Young Lions clash. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!
READ: Matchweek 6 Roundup
Chasing duo look to bounce back
Tampines Rovers vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 9 Apr | 8.30pm | Our Tampines Hub
Team news: Tampines have a largely-fit squad to call upon, with midfielder Ong Yu En set to return after missing two matches through illness although defender Irfan Najeeb is not fully match-fit yet.
Albirex will continue to miss the services of Shogo Toyomura and Masaya Idetsu for this.
- Both sides let slip leads to draw in their respective midweek games against Tanjong Pagar and Geylang respectively.
- Tampines failed to beat Albirex in their three encounters in 2021; they last defeated the White Swans in November 2020.
- Albirex have not won in their last four visits to OTH to face Tampines – their last away victory against the Stags came in May 2018.
- Anything less than a win will see Albirex go four straight games without a win in a season for the first time since 2019.
- Tampines’ Boris Kopitović drew a blank the last time both sides met, but scored five in the three previous encounters.
- Tampines’ Ong Yu En, Shuya Yamashita and Kyoga Nakamura are set to face their former side.
- Albirex’s Kazuaki Yoshinaga won all eight games in all competitions against Tampines during his first spell in charge of the White Swans between 2017 to 2018.
Unbeaten Jaguars face sternest test yet
Lion City Sailors vs Tanjong Pagar United | 9 Apr | 8.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 113
Team news: Saifullah Akbar’s spell on the sidelines for the Sailors could continue, having missed the last three matches through injury. Fellow midfielder Song Uiyoung is also doubtful after hurting his hamstring in the midweek 1-0 win over Young Lions.
For Tanjong Pagar, the experienced Raihan Rahman will serve a one-match suspension due to an accumulation of four yellow cards while forward Khairul Nizam remains a doubt due to injury. Defenders Shakir Hamzah and Shahrin Saberin are already ruled out for the next few months.
- The Sailors won all three encounters in 2021 and are undefeated in five since their 2020 inception.
- Sailors have conceded the fewest goals this season with three; Tanjong Pagar have scored the most goals with 16.
- Tanjong Pagar are undefeated in their last nine SPL matches – their best run of form since a 11-match run in May 2000.
- Tanjong Pagar’s Aqhari Abdullah will face the Sailors for the first time since winning the 2021 SPL title with the latter.
Both sides in need of points
Hougang United vs Young Lions | 10 Apr | 8.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 204
Team news: Hougang’s problems continue to mount as Shawal Anuar and Fabian Kwok are both unlikely to feature after sustaining injuries in midweek, while defender Lionel Tan also faces a race against time to get fit after recovering from COVID-19. The quintet of Pedro Bortoluzo, Hafiz Sujad, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Afiq Noor and Idraki Adnan remain unavailable for the Cheetahs.
Young Lions have issues of their own as injured duo Zulqarnaen Suzliman and Ilhan Fandi are out for the next few weeks, while defender Syed Akmal is also unavailable due to illness. Left-back Harith Kanadi is also a doubt after missing the past couple of matches.
- Young Lions are undefeated on their two visits to Hougang in 2021 – their last loss at the venue came in November 2020.
- Hougang won just one out of their last nine games since September 2021.
- Hougang have conceded at least a goal in their last 13 games since a 1-0 win over Young Lions in August 2021.
- A loss will see Young Lions go their opening five games without a point for the first time since losing their first seven matches in 2017.
- Hougang’s Amy Recha has scored in three out of his last four appearances against Young Lions.
Clash between Jekyll-and-Hyde sides
Geylang International vs Balestier Khalsa | 10 Apr | 8.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | StarHub Ch 201
Team news: Geylang will have to rejig their line-up with defender Faizal Roslan serving the first of a two-match ban, while the trio of Hazzuwan Halim, Khairul Hairie and Abdil Qaiyyim are doubtful after sustaining knocks in midweek. The good news is that left-back Ahmad Syahir returns after a one-match suspension.
Balestier are at full strength bar young defender Amer Hakeem, who has been out since the start of the season due to injury.
- Geylang have won the past two encounters after losing the previous three.
- Balestier have conceded at least a goal in each of their last nine games since a 1-0 win over Tanjong Pagar in September 2021.
- A victory will see Balestier win successive games for the first time since April 2021.