Singapore take on Timor Leste tomorrow in a bid to qualify for the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final. After suffering a painful defeat against the Philippines, the Lions will need to bounce back fast before the daunting trip to Thailand.
Against the Timorese, Fandi Ahmad’s charges will need goals; it is as simple as that. Fandi will be ditching his 4-2-3-1 formation in favour of a 4-4-2 formation as he looks to partner Ikhsan Fandi with veteran Khairul Amri.
It seems that Singapore might need to count on a superior goal tally if they are to emerge out of their group, or hope that Indonesia and the Philippines drop points in their remaining games. All signs point towards a comfortable win for the four-time AFF Suzuki Cup winners, but if recent results are anything to go by, Timor Leste won’t be pushovers.
Since their 7-0 thrashing by Thailand, the Timorese have improved as they took a lead against Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, before losing narrowly to the Azkals. In his post-match conference after the loss against Philippines, Fandi mentioned how Singapore needed to re-adapt against Timor Leste.
He cited how they have a similar style to Indonesia whereby they possess players with speed and love to attack through the wings. Singapore for their part must re-adapt quickly and must do so without veteran Shahril Ishak after he dislocated his shoulder against the Philippines.
It will be an extra weight on the shoulders of Amri and Ikhsan as they will desperately need to deliver the goods. Let’s hope they can because should the fail, the Lions could be exiting the tournament.
Singapore’s probable XI: Hassan Sunny, Irfan Fandi, Safuwan Baharudin, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Shakir Hamzah, Izzdin Shafiq, Hariss Harun, Adam Swandi, Gabriel Quak, Ikhsan Fandi, Khairul Amri