The Malaysia Super League champions will get back to league combat after a three-week break hoping to maintain their winning form at home against the second-placed Red WarriorsThe LionsXII finally return to Malaysia Super League (MSL) action after a three-week break from their last game as they welcome Kelantan FA this Saturday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The defending MSL champions left things on a winning note with a last-gasp come-from-behind 2-1 victory away at ATM FA, as Afiq Yunos's late goal halted a three-game winless streak.
Fandi Ahmad will hope his men can notch another victory back on home turf against last season's FA Cup champions, who will be no pushovers.
With seven of his players starting in Singapore's 3-1 loss to Oman on Wednesday night in their final 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifier and the team only touching down on Thursday, fatigue could be a factor. However, the match action at least means they will not be too rusty come match day.
The LionsXII have adopted a more attacking approach this season but where they struggle is their ability to create chances, an area that has been a concern in their games so far. Against a team like the Red Warriors, it is vital they take any opportunities that come their way.
For the visitors, who sit second in the table after five games, goals have not been a problem, with only Johor Darul Takzim's tally of ten outnumbering their eight strikes in the league.
Key to that has been the form of new striker Mohammad Ghaddar who has accounted for three of those goals. The Lebanon international has struck up a good understanding with fellow new signing and Egyptian international midfielder Mohamed Shawky of former Middlesborough fame, who has scored twice in the league himself. However, they look set to miss out following a problem with getting their visas on time, which will be a huge blow to Kelantan.
If that happens, they will look to burly forward Francis Forkey Doe to get the goals, along with captain Badhri Radzi, who is equally capable of laying on the assists as well.
Head coach Steve Darby knows Singapore football well, having coached Home United to the S.League and Singapore Cup double in 2003 during his three-year tenure there. He made a return to Malaysian football with Kelantan at the beginning of the season and has so far acquitted himself well, having taken them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup as well.
It looks set to be a tough return for the LionsXII, who will have to call upon all their determination and spirit if they are to take three points here.