Singapore extended their unbeaten run under interim coach Fandi Ahmad when they beat Mongolia 2-0 last week.
The Lions will be buoyed by that streak as they take on Cambodia later tonight. For Fandi Cambodia will represent a sterner test than Mongolia. There has been much discussion around the country that other Southeast Asian countries have in recent times managed to close the gap between them and Singapore.
Nevertheless, for Fandi and his charges, this represents another good opportunity for them to prepare for their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign. I mentioned how in the game against Mongolia the Lions’ tactician still needs to fix a few issues such as figuring out whom to play in the number ten role and be set on who his best 11 is.
Cambodia for their part are not exactly in great form having only won one in their last three games but then again, there should be no room for complacency for Singapore. The last time the Cambodians defeated Singapore was in 2016, in a 2-1 scoreline.
Fandi has brought 24 out of 29 players to Phnom Penh and will look to use a 4-2-3-1 formation against the Angkor Warriors. Captain Hariss Harun will miss tonight’s game due to club duties while Shakir Hamzah opted to stay in Singapore due to personal reasons.
It will be interesting to see who plays in the attacking midfielder role as there are numerous options to support lone striker Ikhsan Fandi or Kharul Amri. These include Faris Ramli, Adam Swandi, Shahril Ishak, Gabriel Quak and Iqbal Hussain.
For all their troubles, the Lions it must be said are slowly gaining their confidence compared to when they were under Sundram. After the match against Cambodia, the Lions will go on a training tour of Osaka, Japan, from Oct 21-2 Nov. Following the tour, the final 23-man squad will be announced for the AFF Suzuki Cup.