Singapore Premier League • March 17, 2023
2023 Singapore Premier League Matchweek 5: Preview
SINGAPORE, 17 MARCH 2023 – This week’s second set of fixtures begin with the Young Lions taking on Hougang United while Lion City Sailors will face Balestier Khalsa.
Meanwhile, Brunei DPMM will be looking to build a winning streak against a struggling Geylang International side that is currently on a two-match losing streak. Elsewhere, a tantalising clash awaits at the Jurong East Stadium between 2022 champions Albirex Niigata (S) and current league leaders Tampines Rovers, with just one point separating the two sides.
Pressure mounting for Young Lions
Young Lions vs Hougang United | 18 Mar | 6.00pm | Jalan Besar Stadium | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 201
Team news: Skipper Jacob Mahler is fit again having recovered from a quad injury.
Star midfielder Kristijan Krajcek is unavailable after suffering an injury against Geylang International, while Shahdan Sulaiman and Idraki Adnan are out with long-term injuries.
- Young Lions have only managed one win in their past 10 meetings with Hougang United in the SPL – a 1-3 win in the 2021 SPL season.
- Young Lions are the only club with a double-digit goal difference (-10) this season.
- Sahil Suhaimi is the fixture’s top goal scorer with six goals.
- The Cheetahs have not lost three matches in a row since February 2022 when they lost the last two matches of the 2021 SPL season and the opener of the 2022 SPL season.
Sahil Suhaimi against Young Lions last season, 10 April 2022
Tigers keen to bounce back
Lion City Sailors vs Balestier Khalsa | 18 Mar | 6.00pm | Bishan Stadium | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch H202
Team news: Key striker Kodai Tanaka has been ruled out for the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while defender Nur Adam Abdullah is sidelined with a shoulder injury. M.Anumanthan will be serving the second of his two match suspension after receiving his marching orders against Albirex.
Winger Masahiro Sugita remains sidelined due to injury along with youngster Lewis Lee.
- The two sides have met 66 times across all competitions since the 2004 season, with the Tigers winning 17 times as compared to the Sailors’ 36.
- The Sailors currently have the best shot conversion rate (22%) of any club this season.
- A win on Sunday will mean that the Sailors are off to their best start (12 points in five games) since their inception.
- Balestier’s Max McCoy is the youngest player (18 years and 348 days) to have made an attacking contribution (an assist against Tampines) in the league this season.
Max McCoy against Tampines Rovers, 14 March 2023
DPMM look to start a winning streak
Brunei DPMM vs Geylang International | 19 Mar | 6.00pm | Jalan Besar Stadium | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch H201
Team news: Defender Nurikhwan Othman remains sidelined for the Bruneians while Yura Putera will serve the second of his two match suspension after receiving a straight red card against Balestier Khalsa. Hakeme Yazid may also be unavailable due to personal reasons.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Syahir and Fadli Kamis remain unavailable, but the Eagles will be boosted by the return of defender Nazhiim Harman.
- The two clubs last met in the 2019 Singapore Cup third place match, which saw Geylang come out victorious after beating Brunei DPMM 12-11 on penalties.
- Eagles manager Noor Ali has only managed one win from five matches against Brunei DPMM manager Adrian Pennock.
The two sides last met in the Singapore Cup Third/Fourth match, 2 November 2019
Blockbuster showdown between 1st and 2nd
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Tampines Rovers | 19 Mar | 6.00pm | Jurong East Stadium | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Zamani Zamri remains sidelined for the White Swans.
New signing Syahrul Sazali remains injured but the Stags will be boosted by the return of midfielder Saifullah Akbar from suspension.
- The White Swans have won three, drawn three and lost four times against the Stags in the previous 10 meetings since 2019.
- Albirex Niigata (S) have the most players (10) with at least one goal involvement – a goal or an assist – of any club this season.
- Albirex midfielder Asahi Yokokawa is the youngest captain this season (20 years and 295 days).
Asahi Yokokawa, 10 March 2023