Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic claimed that the Lions will face a Philippines team bearing a different style of play from previous opponents Hong KongSpeaking to Goal.com after their training session on Wednesday, Avramovic opined that the Filipinos will pose a different kind of challenge as compared to Hong Kong, whom they defeated 2-0 three weeks ago.
Referring to the likes of goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who is at English Premier League club Fulham, he said: “They have many players from Europe, and are bringing in players with a different mentality."
“I think that it will be a change for us in some way to be facing a more European-styled team. We will see whether they are stronger [than Hong Kong] or not, but we will be facing a different type of players.
“From what I have seen, they are very aggressive; I hope they play within football rules.”
Nicknamed the Azkals, the Philippines team also comprises defenders Rob Gier from Ascot United (England) and Jerry Lucena from Esbjerg fB (Denmark), as well as midfielders Jeffrey Christiaens from Torhout (Belgium) and Paul Mulders of ADO Den Haag (Netherlands).
Midfielder Stephan Schröck, who plies his trade in Germany with Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, will also link up with the squad for the Singapore game.
Nevertheless, Avramovic is determined that the Lions will give their all, regardless of the make-up of the opposition.
“We are still facing some obstacles, but we will try to sort them out," added Avramovic.
"Some players are injured, and some are sick, but we will try to put out our best team for the game.”
The home side will be boosted by the return of skipper Shahril Ishak, who missed the last match due to an injury.
“I feel great to be coming back to the national team, because I was out for three months and missed a couple of matches," Shahril told Goal.com.
"I will join the team tomorrow for training.”
Shahril, who is also the captain of the LionsXII side, highlighted the positive effects of this decision on the younger players: “Most of them are young players who are in the upcoming national squad. It is a good time for national football [in the sense] that the youngsters are getting there [to the national team].”
The Philippines played out a 0-0 draw with Cambodia in a friendly yesterday, and will face Singapore on Friday, 7.45pm at the Jurong West Stadium.