Friday, October 16, 2020
Tampines, Lion City Invest Big Ahead Of Restart
Roll on tomorrow as the Singapore Premier League returns after a lengthy covid induced hiatus. For those who can't remember, which includes me, the last game was played in March when ten man Tanjong Pagar United drew 2-2 with Albirex Niigata at Jurong East Stadium.
The season restarts on Saturday with two games as Tanjong Pagar welcome Balestier Khalsa and leaders Tampines Rovers host Hougang United.
The Cheetahs look to their first game minus their talismanic striker Stipe Plazibat after the 31 year old signed for Lion City Sailors in September. His absence will leave a large gap in Hougang's armoury as he netted nine times in six games before the break. Stipe isn't the only big name arrival at the team formerly known as Home United. Aussie coach Aurelio Vidmar has also bought in Hassan Sunny, Shahdan Sulaiman and Gabriel Quak and he will be looking for a quick return on that investment. Prior to the season halt, Lion City Sailors had drawn and lost their opening two games including a humiliating 4-0 reverse against Tampines.
Talking of the table toppingvitals, they too have been busy recruiting ahead of their opening game, adding experience with players like Baihakki Khaizan and Fazrul Nawaz, both in their mid 30s.
Singapore being Singapore they have copied/adopted 'protocols' from bigger leagues around the world to handle the ongoing covid shit. Teams can use up to five substitutes per game and there will be a water break allowed in each half. Players will be tested fortnightly and there will be no spectators at games with less than 100 supposedly essential workers on duty. Cynics might say that means nothing much has changed on that front but fortunately I'm no cynic!
Tanjong Pagar United v Balestier Khalsa
Tampines Rovers v Hougang United
Lion City Sailors v Geylang International
Young Lions v Albirex Niigata