Singapore will face Syria this Friday in Tehran, Iran with a youthful squad as 13 of the 20-man strong team that traveled will be eligible for the SEA Games.
The likes of Raihan Rahman, M. Anumanthan, Faris Ramli, Sahil Suhaimi, Shahfiq Ghani and Iqbal Hussain have all been included, along with Geylang International defender Delwinder Singh. With 108 caps, captain Shahril Ishak is by far the most experienced player in the squad, with Khairul Amri and Isa Halim next in line.
Coach Bernd Stange led the Lions to a memorable 2-1 victory over the same opponents back on home soil in October, but will miss his entire back four that ended the game that day. Right-back Madhu Mohana has National Service issues, Baihakki Khaizan is suspended while fellow centre-back Safuwan Baharudin and left-back Shaiful Esah both miss out due to personal reasons.
Still, the German is looking forward to the game.
"Syria is a quality team and it will be a good experience for the development of our players to play against an opponent of this level," Stange said in a Football Association of Singapore statement.
"We have 13 players in the squad who will be eligible for the SEA Games in December and the experience of playing against such a quality opponent will put them in good stead for the SEA Games. We look forward to the continued support of all our fans for this match."
The team left for Tehran early morning on Tuesday and will return on Saturday.
Full Singapore squad for Syria
Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny (Warriors FC), Fahdil Salim (Hougang United), Izwan Mahbud (LionsXII)
Defenders: Afiq Yunoes (Courts Young Lions), Shakir Hamzah, Faritz Hameed, Hafiz Sujad (all LionsXII), Delwinder Singh (Geylang International), Zulfadli Zainal Abidin (Warriors)
Midfielders: Raihan Rahman, M. Anumanthan (Young Lions), Shahdan Sulaiman (Tampines Rovers), Gabriel Quak, Isa Halim, Faris Ramli (allLionsXII)
Forwards: Shahril Ishak (Johor FA), Khairul Amri (Tampines), Shahfiq Ghani (LionsXII), Sahil Suhaimi, Iqbal Hussain (Young Lions)