Singapore Premier League • March 1, 2019
Singapore Premier League Week 1: Preview
SINGAPORE, 1 MARCH 2019 – At last, we have come to this point. Tomorrow evening, the first two matches of the new AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) season gets underway: Geylang International host defending champions Albirex Niigata (S), while the Young Lions entertain Balestier Khalsa. Two heavyweight clashes round off Week 1, as Home United host Brunei DPMM and Hougang United clash with Tampines Rovers in the most anticipated fixture of the weekend.
Geylang vs Albirex | 5.30 PM | Our Tampines Hub | fas.org.sg/live1
Team News: The hosts will have to do without captain Anders Aplin, Amy Recha, Shawal Anuar, Christopher van Huizen and Firdaus Kasman. Asshukrie Wahid has been ruled out for the entire season. Shahrin Saberin, Syahiran Miswan and Fareez Farhan could make their Geylang debuts. Albirex are expected to have a full-strength squad available, with the exception of Noor Akid Nordin.
– Geylang have lost all eight of their previous meetings with Albirex, scoring thrice and conceding 30 times.
– The Eagles’ last win came in July 2016 when Shawal scored the only goal in a League Cup tie.
– Albirex scored the joint-most headers last season in the league (11); Geylang conceded the joint-most from headers (12).
Young Lions vs Balestier | 5.30 PM | Jalan Besar | fas.org.sg/live2
Team News: National Service commitments have ruled out Adam Hakeem, Amer Hakeem, Rusyaidi Salime, Naufal Azman and Irfan Najeeb. Marc Ryan Tan (anterior cruciate ligament) and Syed Firdaus Hassan (ankle) are unavailable as well, along with Saul Ellison Katz. Shaqi Sulaiman (anterior cruciate ligament) is out for the Tigers, but Raihan Rahman will make his return from a similar injury. Kristijan Krajcek, Illyas Lee and Sime Zuzul could make their debuts.
– Young Lions have not beaten Balestier in any of their last eight encounters, drawing one of those.
– Huzaifah Aziz has scored against Young Lions in each of Balestier’s last two trips to Jalan Besar.
– Balestier were the only side to score from long throws last season (2).
– Young Lions conceded the most times from outside the box in open play last season (7).
– Both teams, together with Hougang, were the only sides that did not have any player score more than once in any league match last season.
Home vs DPMM | 5.30 PM | Bishan | fas.org.sg/live1
Team News: Home talisman Song Uiyoung (groin) will sit this out, while Isaka Cernak is a doubt. Hami Syahin, Taufiq Muqminin and Fazli Ayob all came off injured in midweek and are unlikely to play any part here. DPMM are likely to hand new foreign signings Blake Ricciuto, Charlie Clough and Andrei Varankou their debuts.
– Both sides have scored at least once in each of their last nine meetings.
– Home are unbeaten against DPMM at home in their last seven games, winning the last five of those.
– Both teams scored the most penalties last season (5 each).
– DPMM conceded within the first ten minutes on eight occasions last season, the most in the league.
Hougang vs Tampines | 5.30 PM | Jalan Besar | fas.org.sg/live2
Team News: A host of new signings are expected to make their Hougang debuts, including the likes of Faris Ramli, Stipe Plazibat and Zulfahmi Arifin. Shannon Stephen and Safirul Sulaiman are ruled out through injury, while influential midfielder Yasir Hanapi is suspended for the visitors.
– Hougang have lost their last six meetings against Tampines, scoring just twice during that run.
– Tampines had the most number of different scorers last season (13).
– Hougang had both the most substitute scorers (5) and goals from substitutes (6) last season.
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