Stange confident S'pore's best XI can take on Syria
The team that will take to the pitch at Sultan Qaboos Stadium in Muscat, Oman, will be as strong as any team Singapore can put out at the moment.
That's the assessment of national team coach Bernd Stange, who is confident his Lions side can build on the superb start to their World Cup qualification campaign by extending their unbeaten run against Syria tonight.
In June, Singapore thumped Cambodia 4-0 in Phnom Penh in their Group E opener, before holding Asia's top side Japan to a shock 0-0 draw in Saitama.
Singapore pulled off the stunning result against Japan despite missing ace midfielder Safuwan Baharudin, who did not play because of personal reasons.
He is back tonight, and Stange believes this is the best Singapore 11 available in the country today.
"Yes, it's the best team," said the German yesterday.
"It's not very difficult to choose the best team in Singapore, because of the small pool of players.
"We are also lucky we don't have any injuries or suspensions, and we'll do our best to get a positive result.
"Syria are ranked 117th in the world, we are 155th.
"In most sports, the winner is clear. But this is football and we are confident we can take something from this game."
Stange (above, in grey) whose contract is up at the end of the month, told The New Paper on Tuesday of his desire to stay on and help Singapore qualify for the third round of World Cup qualifiers - which would also secure them a spot in the 2019 Asian Cup.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up of the second round of the 2018 World Cup Asian qualifiers will advance, and the 67-year-old stressed the need for the Lions to compete in Asia's top international tournament.
Singapore competed in the Asian Cup only once, in 1984, but did not have to qualify as they hosted the tournament.
"The Asian Cup is a must for this team," said Stange.
"Two years ago, we lost a lot of players, foreign-born players, but we finished the rebuilding process six months ago, after the Suzuki Cup.
"It was a very painful procedure, but there is a balance now in the team, and we want results.
"I deeply believe we can (qualify for) the Asian Cup for the first time in history."
Follow the Lions on okto and ELEVEN
Local football fans will be able to follow the national team's fortunes tonight as Singapore try to get a positive result against Syria in Muscat, Oman, and stay on top of Group E in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
The match will be televised live on MediaCorp's okto channel as well as Singtel TV's ELEVEN (Singtel TV Ch 109) from 11.55pm.
Those who miss the live telecast, will be able to catch the repeat telecast tomorrow at 10am and 7.30pm, as well as a 30-minute highlights show of the match tomorrow at 9.30pm, on ELEVEN.
Singtel TV subscribers will get to catch the live action, delayed telecast and highlights show on ELEVEN via the Singtel TV GO app as well.