Singapore Premier League • March 8, 2023

2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 3: Preview




SINGAPORE, 8 MARCH 2023 – Matchweek 3 kicks off on Thursday night, headlined by the titanic clash between reigning champions Albirex Niigata (S) and Lion City Sailors. Elsewhere, Young Lions will be looking to bag their first win after losing their first three matches this season.


Meanwhile, high-flying Geylang International will aim to cement their position at the top of the table with a win against a struggling Tanjong Pagar side on Friday night. The Matchweek ends with a mid-table clash between two-time champions Brunei DPMM and Balestier Khalsa.


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Reigning champions Albirex Niigata (S) take on in-form Sailors
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Lion City Sailors |
9 Mar | 7.45pm | Jurong East Stadium | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch HS2


Team news:  Zamani Zamri remains sidelined due to injury.


Sailors will still be without midfielder Anaqi Ismit and Izwan Mahbud.



  • Albirex Niigata (S) have only lost to Lion City Sailors once in their past 10 clashes – a 1-2 loss in the 2022 Singapore Community Shield match.
  • The White Swans have scored at least one goal in each of their last 35 matches, holding the longest goalscoring streak across the nine SPL clubs.
  • Sailors forward Kodai Tanaka will face his previous employers for the first time tomorrow. The 2022 Player of the Year scored seven goals across the six encounters between the two sides.


Kodai Tanaka celebrates after scoring against Lion City Sailors, 7 October 2022



Young Lions desperate for a win
Young Lions vs Tampines Rovers | 9
Mar | 7.45pm | Jalan Besar Stadium | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch HS1


Team news: Skipper Jacob Mahler remains ruled out with a quad injury.


New signing Syahrul Sazali remains injured and will not face his former side. Meanwhile Saifullah Akbar will serve the first of his two match suspension after being issued with a straight red card against Tanjong Pagar United.



  • Since the 2003 season, Tampines Rovers have a 43-5-7 record across all competitions against Young Lions and are currently on a nine-match winning streak against them.
  • Tampines Rovers manager Gavin Lee has a perfect record against Young Lions, racking up 9 wins against them since he first joined the club in 2020.
  • Boris Kopitovic recorded six attacking returns – two goals and four assists – in the Stags’ most recent encounter with Young Lions back in September 2022.


Boris Kopitovic against Young Lions, 3 September 2022


Struggling Jaguars face soaring Eagles
Tanjong Pagar United vs Geylang International | 10 Mar
| 7.45pm | Jurong East Stadium | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch HS1


Team news: Tanjong Pagar will still be without skipper Faritz Hameed and team official Noh Alam Shah – who will serve his third of his five match stadium ban.


Meanwhile, Ahmad Syahir, Nazhiim Harman and Fadli Kamis remain unavailable for the Eagles. Defender Akmal Azman will also serve the last of his two match suspension. Eagles’ Head Coach Noor Ali will not be in the dugout for this match, with Syed Azmir standing in for him.



  • This is the first time since the 2018 season where the Eagles have gone undefeated in their opening three games.
  • Geylang International have scored at least a goal in each of their last 15 encounters with Tanjong Pagar United in all competitions.
  • Midfielder Vincent Bezecourt is this fixture’s top goal scorer with five goals in his maiden season with the Eagles.
  • Tanjong Pagar are win-less in their last five SPL matches since a 8-1 win over Young Lions in October 2022.


Vincent Bezecourt celebrates after scoring against Tanjong Pagar United last season, 9 October 2022


Brunei DPMM seeking first win
Brunei DPMM vs Balestier Khalsa | 10
Mar | 7.45pm | Jalan Besar Stadium | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch HS2


Team news: Defender Nurikhwan Othman remains sidelined for the Bruneians.


Youngster Lewis Lee remains sidelined but the Tigers will be boosted by the return of Masahiro Sugita, who missed the match against Young Lions last Saturday.



  • Brunei DPMM could fail to win either of their opening two games for the first time since 2017.
  • Brunei DPMM captain Azwan Ali Rahman has been with the club for over nine years since joining in 2013.
  • The Tigers have only managed one win against Brunei DPMM in their last 12 encounters across all competitions.


Azwan Rahman against Lion City Sailors, 3 March 2023



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