News Singapore Premier League • November 6, 2020
Singapore Premier League Week 9: Preview
Yuki Ichikawa will hope to captain Geylang to a derby win this weekend
SINGAPORE, 6 NOVEMBER 2020 – It is another huge weekend in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL), with leaders Tampines Rovers taking on Geylang International in the Eastern Derby while title-chasing Lion City Sailors face a must-win game against high-flying Balestier Khalsa in a double-header on Saturday. Meanwhile, big guns Albirex Niigata (S) and Hougang United face off the following evening to round off the action. All LIVE on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
ALSO READ: Week 8 Roundup
Plucky Tigers eye Sailors scalp
Balestier Khalsa vs Lion City Sailors | 7 Nov | 5.30pm | Bishan | Singtel Ch 112, StarHub Ch 201
Kristijan Krajcek will be key to Balestier’s hopes of an upset win
Team news: There are some issues for Balestier at the back, with Serbian centre-back Ensar Brunčević ruled out for a few weeks due to a knee problem while left-back Ahmad Syahir is suspended.
As for the Sailors, South Korean midfielder Song Uiyoung is a doubt after missing their midweek 1-1 draw against Hougang United through injury.
- Balestier have won the last two encounters in all competitions by identical 3-1 scorelines, with Kristijan Krajček netting a brace in both games.
- Balestier lost just one of the last seven encounters in all competitions against Home United, the Sailors’ predecessor – that came in a 4-2 defeat at Bishan in May 2019.
- Balestier are looking to win three straight games for the first time since October 2015.
- Balestier could go six games unbeaten for the first time since August 2015.
- Sailors’ Stipe Plazibat has scored three goals in his last two games against Balestier, including a brace for previous employers Hougang United in a 2-2 draw earlier in March.
Well-rested Webb looking to change fortunes against Eagles
Geylang International vs Tampines Rovers | 7 Nov | 5.30pm | Our Tampines Hub | Singtel Ch 113, StarHub Ch 202
Tampines captain Yasir Hanapi has a history of scoring against Geylang
Team news: It is all positive news for Tampines, with experienced campaigners Daniel Bennett and Jordan Webb set to return to the line-up after being rested for the midweek 1-0 victory over Young lions.
Similarly, Geylang do not have many issues with first-choice goalkeeper Zainol Gulam now available after serving a two-match suspension.
- Geylang have won just one out of last nine encounters in all competitions – that came in a 2-1 win at Jalan Besar in August 2019.
- The last goal-less draw between both sides was back in July 2010 at Jalan Besar – current Tampines captain Yasir Hanapi came on as a 51st-minute sub for Geylang.
- Yasir was on the scoresheet for the last two encounters as Geylang were defeated 4-1 over two legs in the 2019 Singapore Cup semi-finals.
- Tampines have kept five clean sheets in six games so far.
- Up to eight players could feature against their former employers – Yasir, Syazwan Buhari, Huzaifah Aziz, Baihakki Khaizan, Fazrul Nawaz (all Tampines), Safirul Sulaiman, Christopher Van Huizen and Firdaus Kasman (all Geylang).
- Webb has scored just once in his last six appearances against Geylang, through a penalty in a 1-1 draw in May 2019.
Cheetahs look to maintain unbeaten Jurong East record
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Hougang United | 8 Nov | 5.30pm | Jurong East | Singtel Ch 111, StarHub Ch 202
Hougang have proven to be Albirex’s bogey side in the past
Team news: Albirex will have to make do without top scorer Reo Nishiguchi after he twisted his ankle in last week’s 2-0 loss to Tampines, while young Singaporean midfielder Iman Hakim continues to miss out due to injury.
As for Hougang, there are no new issues apart from the prolonged absence of Sahil Suhaimi and M. Anumanthan.
- Hougang are undefeated in their last three visits to Jurong East in all competitions, winning the last two by identical 2-1 scorelines – the scorers over the two games, namely Stipe Plazibat (two), Kong Howon and Faris Ramli are no longer with the club.
- Albirex last defeated Hougang at home in September 2018 – a 2-0 win in the second leg of the Singapore Cup quarter-finals to win 3-0 on aggregate.
- Albirex have lost just three out of their last 56 games at home, with Hougang responsible for two of them.
- Hougang conceded just two games in their last three games, after leaking five in the first three.
- Albirex have let in two goals in four out of six matches this season.
- Albirex’s Fairoz Hasan and Gareth Low could feature against their former employers.
- Fairoz netted a match-winning goal for Hougang in a 2-1 home defeat of Albirex back in July 2017 – Low also started for the Cheetahs in that game.