Stange braced for Japan attack

Singapore head coach Bernd Stange has acknowledged that Japan will be looking to avenge their goalless draw in June when the two teams meet on Thursday.

The 0-0 draw with Singapore is the lone blip in Japan's 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, with Samurai Blue having won their three other fixtures. 

With this in mind, Stange knows his side are going to have to be at their best on Thursday if they are to quell the Japanese challenge once more, but it's a task his side are relishing.

“Japan want revenge for sure. They want to prove that it was an accident,” Stange told reporters. “We have a match plan and we are working on it. We do not play every year against Japan and we will try to bring the best out of us.”

Stange believes that his side will play their best football if they do not feel under pressure, so he has told his men to go out and express themselves.

"I am giving my players freedom in this match," he told The New Paper. "All the freedom in the world to deliver.

"I have told them to show the world, 'My name is Safuwan' or 'My name is Faris'.

"This is a chance to put their names in international headlines like Izwan did in June. In such a game, a coach sits back. And we will see what the players can do."

Singapore currently sit level with Japan on ten points in the Group E standings, having won three of their opening five fixtures.