The Singapore Lions travel to face the Reds of Bahrain as both teams begin their third round AFC Asian Cup qualification campaigns.
Bahrain know the numbers look good (FIFA Ranking: 127)
الجهاز الفني للمنتخب الأول يستبعد اللاعب عبدالوهاب المالود بسبب الإصابة.
وسيخوض المنتخب غدا حصة تدريبية خلال الفترة الصباحية. pic.twitter.com/MbGeBKAzIZ
— Bahrain FA (@bfainfo) March 25, 2017
Bahrain will face Singapore with optimism given their run of wins against their opponents. What’s more is they will play the fixture at home which will add to their motivation in getting the full three points.
Singapore are up against it (FIFA Ranking: 163)
Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers Final Round draw:
— Singapore Football (@SGfootball) January 24, 2017
Singapore face a tough task as they will battle it out with a team that they haven’t defeated in more than a decade and a half.
However, they should bring with them a ray of optimism based on their recent friendly with Afghanistan which, although narrowly lost 2-1, they were able to compete valiantly against.
Historical Head to Head
فوز الأحمر الأولمبي على منتخب الفلبين بنتيجة أربعة أهداف مقابل لا شيء في مباراة ودية استعدادا لتصفيات كأس آسيا pic.twitter.com/iA2xQvoodr
— Bahrain FA (@bfainfo) March 24, 2017
Bahrain 7 – 1 Singapore (Draw: 0)
Historically, Bahrain has the upper-hand having won all six meetings since February 2001.
The Singaporean national side is very much aware of this trend including the strength and quality of the opposition.
Despite this, however, Coach V. Sundramoorthy is hopeful and will ensure his squad is prepared to try and break the losing streak against their higher ranked opponents and come up with a good result to start their third round Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
Players to watch out for
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Abdulla Yusuf (Bahrain): A tall forward playing for East Riffa. His size could pose a threat with aerial balls from crosses or corners.
Komail Al Aswad (Bahrain): The Al Riffa forward who scored the stoppage-time equaliser in Bahrain’s friendly with Tajikistan. A tenacious forward as demonstrated in that match.
Khairul Nizam (Singapore): His impact as a substitute in the friendly with Afghanistan when Singapore went in search of an equaliser in the second half could earn him a starting position or a cameo as a replacement against Bahrain.
Currently in-form playing for his club, Home United, the striker will be crucial for the Lions.
Harris Harun (Singapore): The versatile central midfielder/centre-back from Home United, will be crucial in dictating the play and providing a solid foundation on the defensive end for the Lions.
He will also be significant in providing good passing services for the attacking players as demonstrated by his assisted cross in their equaliser against Afghanistan.
What to expect
Bahrain are favourites with their better head to head record against Singapore.
However, the Lions will try to pull out all of the stops needed to thwart their host’s offensive threats and get a positive result out of the fixture.