Lions to go for the jugular
Expect an open game as Turkmenistan also go in search of precious points
Turkmenistan may sit 30 rungs above Singapore in the Fifa world order, but V Sundramoorthy's Lions will show no fear when they face the central Asian side in tonight's Asian Cup Group E qualifier at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Buoyed by their performance in a 1-1 friendly draw against Hong Kong last week, Sundram will send his charges out to attack in a bid to get their qualification campaign back on track.
Singapore lined up in an unfamiliar 3-4-3 formation in last Thursday's match, with their wide players getting into good positions and the midfielders putting their possession to good use going forward.
The 51-year-old wants the Lions to build on that platform for another show of attacking football tonight.
"There is more balance in this (3-4-3) formation to move forward and attack," said Sundram at a pre-match press conference yesterday.
"There may be some changes, but we have to try to attack to score goals.
"We need something to keep our hopes alive."
Singapore are bottom of Group E with one point from their opening two games - an encouraging 0-0 draw away to Bahrain, and a 2-1 home loss to Taiwan.
Both Taiwan and Turkmenistan have three points, with Bahrain leading the standings on four points.
"After a week of training, we gave Hong Kong a game and we should've won, but football is sometimes like that. (Tomorrow) we will definitely go out there and battle," said Sundram.
Turkmenistan are likely to take a similar approach.
"I have seen Singapore's tactics, they don't score many goals, but that means they are very strong defensively," said Turkmenistan coach Yazguly Hojageldiyev yesterday.
"It will be a difficult match, but we are ready. We will play attacking football, but we will not forget about defence."
Hojageldiyev insists that it is early days in the qualifying campaign, with the group still wide open.
But, with only one training session on Jalan Besar's artificial surface, he will warn his side against complacency.
Singapore midfielder Hariss Harun wants his team to build on the momentum from the Hong Kong match.
"One important part of that game (against Hong Kong) was that each and every player on the field understood his job and role - we did well on that," said Hariss, whose performance against Hong Kong will almost certainly see him retain his spot in the Lions' engine room, along with the captain's armband.
"We created chances in that game, and (tonight) we need to convert those into goals."
"We didn't get a win in the last game but, hopefully, we save that for (tonight)," he added with a smile.
Sundram is braced for a tough battle tonight, and has called on Singaporeans to pack the Jalan Besar Stadium to give his team an extra boost.
"It will be a difficult game (against Turkmenistan), they are physically strong, and it will come down to our performance on the day," he said.
"But we are playing at Jalan Besar and the boys will be motivated to play for the fans.
"Anything can happen."