Singapore Premier League • March 17, 2020
Singapore Premier League Week 4: Preview
SINGAPORE, 17 MARCH 2020 – A huge clash between title contenders Tampines Rovers and Lion City Sailors is the headline act for this week, while fellow challengers Hougang United and Albirex Niigata (S) look to return to winning ways as they take on Balestier Khalsa and Tanjong Pagar United respectively.
Will Tigers maul leaky Cheetahs?
Balestier Khalsa vs Hougang United | 18 Mar | 7.45pm | Bishan | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 204
Team news: Balestier are expected to put out largely the same eleven who was involved in the 2-0 win against Young Lions over the weekend. Wide man Zulfadhmi Suzliman will serve a one-match ban after his dismissal in that game.
English midfielder Charlie Machell remains doubtful for Hougang after missing Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Geylang International through injury. The likes of Shahfiq Ghani and Daniel Martens should be involved after being rested, while young Kyrgyzstani defender Maksat Dzhakybaliev may get a chance to make his debut.
- Hougang won all three meetings between both sides last season.
- Hougang have yet to keep a clean sheet in any of their five games in all competitions this season.
- Balestier have a chance to record two straight wins since August 2018.
- Balestier’s Ensar Brunčević could become the first defender since Kunihiro Yamashita in 2013 to score in three straight games.
Can Sailors storm OTH fortress?
Tampines Rovers vs Lion City Sailors | 18 Mar | 7.45pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Yasir Hanapi and striker Taufik Suparno continue to miss out for Tampines due to suspension while defender Madhu Mohana is still recovering from injury. Serbian playmaker Zehrudin Mehmedović could return to the starting line-up.
The Sailors are almost at full strength – bar midfielder Hami Syahin, who is occupied with National Service commitments – as they look to lay down a statement of intent against their title rivals.
- Tampines have lost just one of their last 18 league games at OTH.
- Sailors’ Shahdan Sulaiman will be playing against the side he captained last season. Hassan Sunny, Abdil Qaiyyim, Izzdin Shafiq and Saifullah Akbar were also on the books of the Stags before.
Jaguars eye first-ever league win over White Swans
Tanjong Pagar United vs Albirex Niigata (S) | 20 Mar | 7.45pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 202
Team news: Albirex are unlikely to make changes to the line-up that started the 2-2 draw against Balestier one and a half weeks ago.
Tanjong Pagar head coach Hairi Su’ap will hope that Japanese full-back Takahiro Tanaka can shake off his ankle injury to be fit for this crunch clash against the three-time league champions.
- Tanjong Pagar have met Albirex 14 times in the league and not won a single encounter.
- Tanjong Pagar did beat the White Swans 4-0 in a League Cup group-stage game at Queenstown in July 2014.
- Both sides met in pre-season, with Albirex prevailing 6-0.