Singapore - Thailand Preview: Lions looking to make home advantage count

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SINGAPORE


Izwan
Bennett - Safuwan - Baihakki - Esah
Mustafic - Isa
Amri - Shahril - Shahdan
Duric
THAILAND


Kawin
Theerathon - Chonlathit - Wongsa - Bantao
Anucha - Adul - Pichitpong- Jakkapan -
Datsakorn

Teerasil

Singapore's bid for a record fourth AFF Suzuki Cup title begins on Wednesday, as they take on Thailand in the first leg of the final at the Jalan Besar Stadium. With their opponents looking to do the same, this two-legged affair is set to be a titanic clash.

After disposing of Philippines in front of a sell-out crowd in the second leg of their semi-final, the home side will once again be able to count on the backing of a full house, with tickets being sold out in four hours on Sunday.

The Lions will certainly need all the help they can get, given that Thailand have looked in fine form throughout this tournament. Coach Radojko Avramovic will be quietly confident about his side's chances against the favorites though, having seen his men befuddle critics by making it this far.

While skipper Shahril Ishak has been superb so far, the real threat for Singapore could very well come from striker Khairul Amri. It was his wicked strike that saw off Philippines in the semi-final, and the 27-year-old's confidence should be at an all-time high.

The visitors will also have their very own star man upfront, with Teerasil Dangda having thumped in a tournament-leading five goals. The pair of Baihakki Khaizan and the impressive Safuwan Baharudin will need to keep a close eye on the 24-year-old, while midfield hardmen Isa Halim and Mustafic Fahrudin will have their hands full shackling influential playmaker Datsakorn Thonglao.

The home side will be keen to press home their advantage on an artificial turf and establish a healthy lead to bring to the Supachalasai Stadium for the return leg, but they have to be wary of Thailand's speed on the counter-attack.

While Datsakorn had a minor knock in the previous game, he should be fully fit to start the game on Wednesday and Singapore will be without Hariss Harun who is out injured and Shi Jiayi who is still in China settling personal matter.

 

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Both teams are looking for a record fourth Suzuki Cup title


  • Both sides have met once in the final before, back in 2007; Singapore won 3-2 on aggregate on that occasion

  • Singapore have won all three finals they have reached, while Thailand have gone to five and lost twice

  • This will be Aleksandar Duric's second-last game for Singapore, as he is set to retire after the tournament

  • There's no players from Bangkok Glass FC, which uses synthetic turf on their home stadium, in this squad.

  • Thailand iweat Siriwong used to play in the Singapore's league for Gombak United and Sembawang Rangers
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