Singapore Premier League • May 11, 2022
2022 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 9: Preview
Lion City Sailors midfielder Diego Lopes tries to beat a Geylang International defender, 4 March 2022.
SINGAPORE, 11 MAY 2022 – The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) continues with leaders Lion City Sailors looking to extend their four-point lead at the top against Geylang International, while the chasing pack of Albirex Niigata (S) and Tanjong Pagar United aim to keep pace against Balestier Khalsa and Hougang United respectively. ALL LIVE on our YouTube channel and meWATCH!
READ: Matchweek 8 Roundup
Tricky test for White Swans
Balestier Khalsa vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 13 May | 7.45pm | Toa Payoh | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Balestier will miss defenders Amer Hakeem and Delwinder Singh through injury and suspension respectively, but top scorer Shuhei Hoshino is available again after recovering from COVID-19.
As for Albirex, Shogo Toyomura and Ilhan Fandi are still not match fit while Nicky Melvin Singh is away for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
- Balestier have not defeated Albirex in the last 21 encounters in all competitions since a 1-0 win at Toa Payoh in October 2015 – they have conceded 14 goals in their last three encounters against the White Swans.
- Balestier have lost just one out of their last eight home matches at Toa Payoh since July 2021, winning their last two at the venue.
- Albirex are unbeaten in their last 18 away matches since a 2-0 defeat to Tampines in October 2020.
- Half of Albirex’s Kodai Tanaka’s eight goals came against Balestier in a 6-0 thrashing back in March.
- Hoshino has four goals in his last five SPL appearances.
Cheetahs up against bogey side
Hougang United vs Tanjong Pagar United | 14 May | 5.30pm | Hougang | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 204
Team news: Hougang will continue to miss Ridhuan Barudin, Idraki Adnan and Shawal Anuar while Anders Aplin will serve the second of his two-match suspension and Zulfahmi Arifin is away at the SEA Games. The good news is that Nazhiim Harman has returned from a one-match ban to bolster their defensive options.
For Tanjong Pagar, defenders Shakir Hamzah and Shahrin Saberin remain out while forward Syukri Bashir is doubtful. Khairul Nizam is fit again though and could make the bench.
- Tanjong Pagar are unbeaten in their last four encounters against Hougang since 2021, with one win and three draws.
- Hougang defeated Tanjong Pagar just once in six meetings against the Jaguars’ SPL return in 2020 – a 3-2 home win back in November 2020.
- Tanjong Pagar lost their last away game 6-1 to Sailors, but were unbeaten in the five games on the road prior to that.
- Hougang conceded in last 15 SPL games, while Tanjong Pagar have no clean sheets in their last seven since the opening-day 2-0 win over Albirex.
- All four of André Moritz’s goals so far have come at home.
- Reo Nishiguchi has scored three goals in his last three appearances.
Eagles hope to pull off another shock
Lion City Sailors vs Geylang International | 14 May | 5.30pm | Jalan Besar | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: The Sailors are still missing the duo of Nur Adam Abdullah and Saifullah Akbar due to their SEA Games involvement, while Tajeli Salamat continues to be absent due to a disciplinary issue.
As for Geylang, they have huge selection issues with Fadli Kamis, Fareez Farhan, Joshua Pereira, Suria Prakash and Yeo Hai Ngee all not available while first-choice goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam is away at the SEA Games. The trio of Vincent Bezecourt, Khairul Hairie and Abdil Qaiyyim are doubtful as well. The only positive is that Faizal Roslan is back from a two-match suspension to strengthen their backline.
- In their previous encounter, Geylang recorded their first-ever win over Sailors in six attempts.
- The Sailors are unbeaten in their last 13 home matches since a 3-1 defeat to Hougang in March 2021, winning their last five at Jalan Besar as the hosts.
- Geylang are win-less in their last six games as the designated away side since a 3-1 win at Tanjong Pagar in August 2021.
- Sailors’ Kim Shin-wook has seven goals in his last four SPL appearances, while Geylang’s Šime Žužul has scored in three out of his last four outings.