Football: Albirex and Sailors to take S'pore Premier League rivalry to Singapore Cup

Albirex Niigata and Lion City Sailors players in action during an SPL match on July 29, 2022. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Local football fans can look forward to a thriller between Singapore Premier League (SPL) title contenders Albirex Niigata and Lion City Sailors in the Singapore Cup, with both teams drawn into Group A alongside Balestier Khalsa and Young Lions on Tuesday.

The clash could be the first of two between the league rivals, as the clubs may meet again in the Nov 19 final or Nov 18 third-place playoff if they progress to the semi-finals.

The Cup returns for the first time since 2019 after a covid-enforced hiatus, with Albirex kicking off the competition against Young Lions at the Jurong East Stadium on Oct 27, while the Sailors will also play Balestier at Jalan Besar.

In Group B, defending champions Tampines Rovers are pooled with eastern rivals Geylang International, Tanjong Pagar and Hougang United. The four teams are currently locked in a battle to finish in the top half of the SPL.

The group matches will run from Oct 27 to Nov 6, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the two-legged semi-finals on Nov 11 and 15.

On Tuesday, the Football Association of Singapore also announced updates to the SPL's final matchweek - the Hougang-Balestier and Tampines-Tanjong Pagar matches will be played on Oct 20, while the Geylang-Albirex and Sailors-Young Lions games will be held the next day.

The penultimate matchweek will also see the Tanjong Pagar-Sailors and Balestier-Geylang clashes moved from Oct 15 to Oct 14.

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