Tampines face uphill task against Southern Tigers
Malaysian giants Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) could be missing two foreign imports in tonight's clash against Tampines Rovers in Larkin, but this will come as scant consolation for Juergen Raab's men.
Besides their injured Argentine forward Luciano Figueroa and Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio, who may not be fit to play, the Southern Tigers have four other foreigners in their squad, including Singapore international Hariss Harun.
Due to the S.League's rules, however, Tampines have just two imports - wingers Ryutaro Megumi and Jordan Webb.
The Stags, who drew 0-0 with JDT at the Jalan Besar Stadium last week, will face an uphill task tonight.
JDT fielded an all-Malaysian team against Tampines last Tuesday, in preparation for Saturday's league match against Terengganu, which they won 1-0. But the Malaysian Super League leaders are expected to field a stronger team tonight in front of their home fans.
Tampines are winless in three matches and Raab said they are not looking too far ahead.
Admitting that a top-two finish in the group stage may seem far-fetched, the 59-year-old German said: "Our aim is to close the gap (between us and the other teams).
"We are in a competition with the best teams from the region, who have more foreigners with more abilities altogether.
"But we have to manage with what we have... so if we can get a draw or even a win, that will be great success for us."
The Stags will be missing midfielder Yasir Hanapi, who is suspended after receiving a second yellow card. - SHARIFAH MUNIRAH