By Gabriel Tan in Bangkok
The Azkals will face one of the toughest tests when they open their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign against Thailand, three-time champions of the competition and hosts of Group A.
While they were once regarded as minnows of Southeast Asia, the Philippines are now the region's second-best side according to the FIFA world rankings, and have been rising steadily after reaching the semi-finals of the tournament back in 2010.
Nonetheless, Weiss still believes his side will have their work cut out against "one of the favourites" on Saturday, although he isn't pertubed by the fact that his side perhaps could have been handed a kinder opener.
"I don't think so," he told ESPNSTAR.com when asked if he felt the War Elephants were no longer as strong as they once were. "On the contrary, I feel they are strong favourites.
"It doesn't matter that we're playing against them first because you have to meet every team eventually. Our team is very excited to play tomorrow [Saturday] against one of the favourites.
"Thailand are a very strong team with experience playing in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against the likes of Australia, Oman and Saudi Arabia. We will get to see how far we have come in the past two years."
It was also confirmed on Friday that goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and midfielder Stephan Schrock would not be available for the tournament due to club commitments with Fulham and Hoffenheim respectively.
And while he admits being without the duo is far from ideal, he is backing Philippine Army custodian Eduard Sacapano to fill Etheridge's void.
"Of course it's a big blow to lose Neil," the German added.
"But our second-choice keeper [Sacapano] played very well in our final friendly [against Singapore] so we have not much to worry about."
Philippines head into the tournament looking to win in for the first time in their history, while the War Elephants are on the hunt for their first title since 2002.
ESPN STAR Sports will broadcast all 18 matches with the most extensive online coverage on the AFF Suzuki Cup. Check espnstar.com (espnstar.my or espnstar.co.id) for local TV listing & breaking news. Follow us on Twitter @espn_star (or @espnstarmy, @espnstarid) for the latest updates from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.