By K. RAJAN – SHAH ALAM: Selangor and Tampines Rovers will be hoping for a change of fortunes when they clash in their Group H AFC Cup match at the Shah Alam Stadium tonight.
Both Selangor and Tampines started their Group H campaign on the wrong foot with Selangor going down to Maldivian club Maziya SR 1-0 while the S-League champions went down to Saigon Xuen Than FC 3-2.
Selangor coach Irfan Bakti said the match would be of important significance to both teams as they desperately need a win after losing their openers.
The Red Giants, who will be at full strength, will be hoping to carry their form which saw them thrashed fancied Johor Darul Takzim 4-1 in a Super League on Saturday, over to their match at the same venue tonight.
“Our injured players are back in the squad and we also had a big win in our last Super League match. We are in a buoyant mood to play Tampines,” said Irfan at the pre-match press conference yesterday.
“It’s definitively going to be a hard match as both sides need a win. Tampines have five internationals and several naturalised players in their squad. They are also the Singapore League champions … so it is not going to be easy.
“However, I have my best players available for the match and they are all in high spirits. We will go out for a home win,” said Irfan.
Meanwhile, Tampines Rover head coach Nenad Bacina said his game plan is to come away with a draw or a win.
Bacina, who led Tampines to the S-League crown last season, said that his side need to be wary of the Red Giants’ Francis Doe, Mohd Amri Yahyah, Michael Kubala and S. Kunalan.
“We lost our last AFC Cup match at home unexpectedly so now we are in a situation where we need to win,” said Bacina.
“We are having some injury problems and we have a tight schedule in the S-League, so I will have to rotate my squad. I have not decided on the starting eleven but I believe the players picked to play will do a good job.”
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