'Hong Kong Barcelona' test for Warriors



Abdil - Bennett - Vidosevic - Syaiful
Shi - Shukor - Inui
Sufian - Karoglan
Wan Zhenpeng
Kin Fung - Rehman - Recio - Kwan Yee
Siu Kei - Gao Wen- Chan Man Fai
Jorge - Pablo - Cheng Siu Wai

It has not been an ideal start to coach Selveraj's rein at Warriors FC as the eight-time S.League champions are yet to register a win since the start of the new campaign while Kitchee FC are chasing the league title in the Hong Kong first division.

Kitchee started their AFC Cup campaign with an impressive 3-0 win over Churchill Brothers on February 26 while Warriors suffered a 3-1 defeat against Semen Padang at West Sumatra. 

Both coaches will be forced to tinker with their squad as they are only allowed to register four foreign players for the match, including one player from Asia.

In the previous match, the Hong Kong team's coach, Josep Gombau, put faith in his trio of Spaniards, Fernando Recio (defender), Pablo Counago (forward) and Jorge Paramo (forward), who were joined by Pakistani international, Zesh Rehman
(pictured right).

As for Warriors FC coach, he only has five foreigners to choose from and all signs point to Shimpei Sakurada being left out from the squad again, with ex-Japanese international Kazuyuki Toda (pictured left) preserving his spot in the centre of midfield alongside Shukor Zailan.

Star striker Mislav Karoglan who has been struggling with fitness played the full 90 minutes against Padang and the Bosnian will be expected to start upfront alongside Sufian Anuar, with Singapore international Erwan Gunawan warming the bench once again. 

For Kitchee, Gombau is forced to make one change as Hong Kong international and versatile attacking midfielder Huang Yang is suspended for this match.

The 29-year old will most probably be replaced by either Lam Ka Wai or Gao Wen, who are both also known for their offensive capabilities.

  • Kitchee SC are known as "Hong Kong Barcelona" because their coach Josep Gombau was, at one time, among the coaching staff of Barcelona.
  • The Hong Kong club have held Arsenal to a 2-2 draw (pictured right) in one of their pre-season friendly matches.
  • Kitchee qualified for the tournament as the league champions
  • Warriors have reached the AFC Cup quarter-finals on two occasions, in 2007 and 2008. They won their first legs at home but failed to progress to the semi-finals after losing the away ties.
  • Warriors qualified for the tournament as winners of the Singapore Cup
  • This is V.Selvaraj's debut season as head coach of the team after having been with the club as a player and its Prime League (U23) team's head coach.

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