Leonard Thomas: Despite pitch controversy, Brazil and Japan can serve up football feast
Over the last couple of days, the local airwaves and news reports have urged drivers to avoid roads around the vicinity.
Electronic signages all over the island advise anyone heading to the Sports Hub to use public transport.
The main media centre there is dominated by tongues working the Portuguese and Japanese languages.
The match is a 55,000-sellout with the billboard boasting the most famous football name of them all versus the Asian champions.
The international friendly will be beamed "live" to many parts of the world so, just maybe, Singapore's new National Stadium could be set for a grand christening, after all, when Brazil take on Japan this evening.
It should have happened on Aug 8 and featured our very own Asean champions, but unique circumstances derailed the Lions' clash with arch-rivals Malaysia on the eve of National Day.
There was the Juventus friendly with a Singapore Selection and, while that was fun, it lacked an edge to make our spines tingle.
But Brazil so often offer crackle and pop with their own brand of samba football.
We use the phrase so often but I asked coach Dunga yesterday what it means.
So many of his own claim he is its antithesis, both as a player and coach.
The 1994 World Cup-winning captain said Brazil always feel a duty to put on a spectacle for the fans and they usually can because they always have special players.
But he warned the pitch could restrict them today.
It is a shame. While playable, the Desso pitch is hardly ideal with its sandy areas still conspicuous.
When Dunga declared the closed-door portion of the Brazil training session over yesterday and gave the signal for the media to flood into the stadium, his men were throwing up sand in their heels when sprinting or shooting, or when they made sharp turns.
But boy was there also skill on display in the two-a-side game played in one half of the field.
And fun, like all Brazil training sessions are.
Kaka was there, his touch and control still exquisite even if he is the senior citizen of the team.
Like his coach a World Cup winner, the famously silky smooth midfielder was recently recalled to lend his considerable experience and new-found enthusiasm for the game as Dunga plots Brazil's renaissance.
There was Robinho, flashing shots at goal, hardly missing a beat but surely still looking to shed that what-might-have-been tag.
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho was present, how Dunga must wish the 22-year-old overcomes his shyness and emphatically proclaims he deserves to wear the blue and gold.
At the centre of it all, inevitably, was Neymar.
Joking, dribbling, flicking and failing, flicking and finding Oscar magically, intermittently using the wall pass unforgettably invented by his very own, one of the greatest of them all, Pele.
Of course, this Brazil are far away from any of their fantastical sides.
Which means we all will be witnesses as they continue on their journey to become the No. 1 team in the world again this evening.
Dunga played in the J-League in the twilight of his career and said yesterday Japan are now a side good enough to sit at the top table of international football.
Javier Aguirre himself has been charged to fire up the Blue Samurai again after an insipid World Cup, as they look to defend their Asian crown in January in Australia.
I chatted with Juninho Pernambucano yesterday.
The former Brazil and Lyon midfield star now works for TV Globo.
I asked him if he agreed with the appointment of Dunga as coach for the second time, and he smiled and said: "A coach must get time, you know. But this is Brazil, so the coach must get it right fast. His first thing is confidence, that is so important."
It is important for both teams.
And as we prepare to give them a loud welcome this evening, the game also holds plenty of significance for Singapore football's new home.
If the country gets a rousing show tonight, the feel-good factor may just see 55,000 turn up for the next football game at the National Stadium, when Singapore clash with Thailand on Nov 23 as they begin the defence of their Asean crown.
We could do with some help from Brazil and Japan. Before the Lions prowl at their new football home, giants will take centrestage tonight.