Sai Gon Xuan Thanh vs Tampines Rovers Preview: Must-win game for Stags
The S.League champions travel to Vietnam in search of victory as they look to salvage some pride in their AFC Cup campaign
By Teng Kiat
Xuan Thanh Sai Gon
Imran - Jufri - Mustafic (C) - Anaz
Amri - Shahdan - Wagner - Firdaus
Duric - Hadzibulic
They might be soaring in the S.League, but Tampines Rovers have not been able to translate that form on to the regional stage.
The Stags hold a four-point lead at the top of their domestic league, where they have won seven of their eight games so far and drawn the remaining one, but are firmly anchored to the bottom of their AFC Cup Group H with a dismal one point from four games.
Nenad Bacina, who took over the reins at Clementi Stadium at the beginning of this season, knows his side have to win their remaining two group games and hope other results go their way in order to stand any chance of qualifying for the next round.
Tampines will have to do without set-piece specialist Shaiful Esah due to suspension, as well as centrebacks Kunihiro Yamashita and Seiji Kaneko, who look set to sit out thanks to injury. That will be a blow for the leakiest defence in the group, having already shipped 12 goals in four games. Mustafic Fahrudin could fill in at centreback, with the Stags running out of defensive options.
It remains to be seen whether Tampines will go out with all guns blazing, but their Vietnamese opponents will certainly be keen to seal qualification, and a win here would represent a huge step towards that goal.
Sai Gon will enter this match on the back of a two-game losing streak in their own league, which has left them languishing in ninth in the 12-team league, although they should not be underestimated on home turf.
The front pairing of Christian Amougou and Emeka Oguwike have two goals each to their name in the competition, and the Stags defence will have their work cut out to deal with their power and strength. Behind them, Moses Oloya and Nguyen Rogerio drive the midfield and will be looking to stamp their authority against Martin Wagner in the Tampines engine room.
It looks like a tall task for the Singapore side to come away with victory here but their pride should see them fight to avoid defeat, thus a draw looks to be on the cards.Read More:
Bacina: We will try to upset them at their home
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Top 3 Predictions
Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 1-2 Tampines Rovers FC
- 18.18 %
Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 3-2 Tampines Rovers FC
- 9.09 %
Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 4-0 Tampines Rovers FC
- 9.09 %
|Asia - AFC Cup (AFCC)||Apr 23, 2013||Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 2 - Tampines Rovers FC 2|
|Asia - AFC Cup (AFCC)||Mar 6, 2013||Tampines Rovers FC 2 - Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 3|
|Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC|
|Apr 30, 2013||East Bengal F.C. 4 - Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 1||AFCC|
|Apr 23, 2013||Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 2 - Tampines Rovers FC 2||AFCC|
|Apr 9, 2013||Selangor FA 3 - Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 1||AFCC|
|Apr 3, 2013||Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 2 - Selangor FA 1||AFCC|
|Mar 25, 2013||Hoang Anh Gia Lai 2 - Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC 1||CQG|
|-||Tan Truong Bui||Goalkeeper|
|-||Phuong Nam Ngo||Defender|
|-||Dinh Luat Truong||Defender|
|-||Long Giang Nguyen Thanh||Defender|
|26||Pham Thua Chi||Defender|
|27||Pham Do Nhat Tan||Striker|
|-||Tai Em Phan Van||Midfielder|
|-||Christian José Nsi Amougou||Striker|
|-||Emeka Ndubuisi Oguwike||Striker|
|-||Minh Nhut Nguyen||Goalkeeper|
|-||Duc Linh Nguyen||Midfielder|
|-||Pham Quang Chi||Midfielder|
|-||Ngoc Anh Nguyen||Striker|
|-||Trong Phi Nguyen||Striker|