Singapore Premier League • June 30, 2023

2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 18: Preview


Tampines Rovers’ Yasir Hanapi in action against Geylang International, 25 February 2023.


SINGAPORE, 30 JUNE 2023 – Matchweek 18 starts with Young Lions facing off against Albirex Niigata (S), who look to extend their lead at the top of the table. Elsewhere, Tanjong Pagar United host a formidable Sailors side that is on a nine-match unbeaten streak.

Balestier Khalsa match up against Hougang United this Sunday, with both sides aiming to bounce back from recent losses and emerge victorious in this mid-table clash. Lastly, Geylang International face off against Tampines Rovers, with both sides aiming for all three points in this Eastern Derby rematch.


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White Swans flying high

Young Lions vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 1 July | 6.00pm | Jalan Besar Stadium | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 203


Team news for Albirex Niigata (S):  Kai Yamamoto likely to replace the suspended Hassan Sunny.



  • Albirex Niigata (S) are on a 23-match winning streak against Young Lions. The White Swans’ most recent loss to Young Lions was during the 2015 S.League season.
  • The White Swans are the only side that has conceded less than 10 goals this season.
  • Young Lions are the only club to score less than a goal on average per match this season with 14 goals in 15 matches.
  • Young Lions are on a 10-match win-less streak, the longest streak of any club this season.

Young Lions’ Jun Kobayashi in action against Brunei DPMM, 24 June 2023.


Sailors cruise
Tanjong Pagar United vs Lion City Sailors | 1 July | 6.00pm | Jurong East Stadium | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 202


Team news for Tanjong Pagar: Shakir Hamzah and Blake Ricciuto are suspended. Pedro Henrique is yet to recover from injury.

Team news for Lion City Sailors: Izwan Mahbud is back fit and eligible for selection.


  • Since returning to the SPL in 2020, Tanjong Pagar United has not beaten Lion City Sailors. The Jaguars’ best result was a 1-1 draw during the 2020 SPL season.
  • The Jaguars have scored the least goals at home this season with seven goals in six games.
  • Lion City Sailors are on a nine-match unbeaten streak, the longest unbeaten streak among all clubs this season. Their latest defeat was a 3-4 loss to Tampines Rovers 3-4 at the end of March.
  • Sailors’ midfielder Diego Lopes is the fixture’s top scorer with eight goals in eight games since joining the club at the start of the 2021 SPL season.

Lion City Sailors’ Hafiz Nor in action against Hougang United, 25 June 2023.


Thrilling mid-table battle
Hougang United vs Balestier Khalsa | 2 July | 6.00pm | Jalan Besar Stadium | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 201


Team news for Hougang United: Naoki Kuriyama, Anders Aplin and Zulfahmi Arifin are out injured. Fairoz Hasan is still suspended.

Team news for Balestier Khalsa: Fabian Kwok, Puvan Raj, Mukundan Maran and Aidil Johari are out injured.



  • Balestier Khalsa have scored almost twice as many goals as Hougang United in the same number of games, recording 36 goals compared to Hougang United’s 19 goals.
  • Tigers forward Shuhei Hoshino has at least one attacking contribution, a goal or an assist, in Balestier’s past five games.
  • Hougang United have won five, drawn once and lost four times to Balestier Khalsa in their last 10 matches.
  • Hougang United have failed to score in consecutive matches for the first time this season after losing 0-2 to the Stags and then 0-3 to the Sailors.


Hougang United’s Kristijan Krajcek in action against Lion City Sailors, 25 June 2023.


Eastern Derby rematch
Geylang International vs Tampines Rovers | 2 July | 6.00pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202


Team news for Geylang International: Huzaifa Abdul Aziz is out with an ACL injury.



  • Tampines Rovers have drawn four matches this season, the most among all nine clubs. All four of those matches ended 1-1, including one against Geylang International in the opening week of this season.
  • Stags forward Boris Kopitovic is the fixture’s top goal scorer with nine goals in 11 games since he joined the club in January 2020.
  • As of Matchweek 17, Geylang International have only scored one goal against each of the three teams above them in the standings (Albirex Niigata, Lion City Sailors, Tampines Rovers).
  • With nine more games to go, Eagles forward Iqbal Hussain is on pace to break his career high of four goals in a SPL season after matching that tally with a goal last matchweek.

Tampines Rovers’ Boris Kopitovic celebrate scoring against Hougang United, 10 June 2023.


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