Khairul Amri to lead youthful Singapore attack against Lebanon

Khairul Amri looks set to provide the experience in a youthful Singapore attack when they take on Lebanon in a friendly at the National Stadium.

Thursday’s clash is the Lions’ sole warm-up match before they take on Bahrain next Tuesday, in a game they must win if they are to keep alive their faint hopes of qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

On Tuesday, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) confirmed coach V. Sundramoorthy’s 25-man squad for their meeting with Lebanon, which will be trimmed to 23 ahead of next week’s Group E qualifier.

Interestingly enough, only three forwards have been listed in the side with seasoned campaigner Amri joined by 18-year-olds Ikhsan Fandi and Hami Syahin, who both represent Garena Young Lions.

There were no places for captain Shahril Ishak and fellow veteran Fazrul Nawaz, who, together with Amri, combine for over 300 caps.

Nonetheless, it is unlikely that Sundram will start both Ikhsan and Hami, with the likes of Faris Ramli, Shawal Anuar, Hafiz Abu Sujad and Safuwan Baharudin – all listed as midfielders – more accustomed to being deployed in offensive roles.

Still, it is an interesting approach for the Lions given that anything less than a win would almost certainly spell the end of their qualification prospects.

And, while there is a tinge of youth up front, the Singapore backline will have no shortage of experience with the likes of Hassan Sunny, Daniel Bennett and Fahrudin Mustafic all ready to play important roles.

Hami, Geylang International goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari and Tampines Rovers defender Shannon Stephen are the three uncapped players in the squad, while Ikhsan, Shawal, Irfan Fandi, Emmeric Ong, Safirul Sulaiman and Zaiful Nizam all have less than ten caps to their names.

Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny (Home United), Syazwan Buhari (Geylang International), Zaiful Nizam (Balestier Khalsa)

Defenders: Daniel Bennett, Madhu Mohana, Fahrudin Mustafic, Shannon Stephen (all Tampines Rovers), Irfan Fandi (Home United), Faritz Hameed, Safirul Sulaiman (both Geylang International), Nazrul Nazari (Hougang United), Emmeric Ong (Warriors FC)

Midfielders: M. Anumanthan, Hariss Harun, Faris Ramli, Izzdin Shafiq (all Home United), Hafiz Abu Sujad, Shahdan Sulaiman (both Tampines Rovers), Zulfahmi Arifin (Hougang United), Safuwan Baharudin, Yasir Hanapi (both PDRM), Shawal Anuar (Geylang International)

Forwards: Hami Syahin, Ikhsan Fandi (both Garena Young Lions), Khairul Amri (Tampines Rovers)