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Singapore drawn in Tough Group in AFF Suzuki Cup 2016

The AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 draw was held in Yangon, Myanmar. And interestingly, Singapore has been drawn into Group A together with the tournament's co-host, Philippines, Thailand & Indonesia. Thailand, probably the strongest country in

The AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 draw was held in Yangon, Myanmar. And interestingly, Singapore has been drawn into Group A together with the tournament’s co-host, Philippines, Thailand & Indonesia. Thailand, probably the strongest country in Southeast Asia at the moment, certainly should not have any problem progressing from the group stage. However, fast improving Philippines and unknown Indonesia prove to be the biggest obstacles which Singapore could be facing. So what does the football circle think about the draw, especially Singapore’s chance of qualifying for next round? Let Junpiter Futbol finds out more…

 

 

 

“Indeed, a tough draw for Singapore. My pick before the draw was Thailand vs Philippines Final. Now, they are in the same group, chances of both of them meeting in the Final is higher now. Well, the Philippines look very strong with their Europe-based players and of course Thailand, presently the best in Southeast Asia. Although Thailand, Philippines & Indonesia are strong, every team still has a chance. I think Sundram will prepare Singapore team to be hard to beat, wear out the opponents and catch them on the break.

 

In terms of goal scoring, Singapore has sufficient weapons in their armoury. Khairul Amri’s lethal finishing, speed and trickery down the flanks, strong heading ability of Safuwan Baharudin’s and various dead ball situations. So while it’s going to be tough, it will not be a walk-in-the-park for the favourites.

 

Vietnam also looked impressive in the recent AYA Cup in Yangon. Some exciting players and of course in Le Cong Vinh, they have a player who can produce a goal from nothing, The tournament is about 3 months away and many factors may come into play. Fatigue at the end of their respective seasons, preparation time & also injuries to key players and etc.”

 

P.N Sivaji

Hantharwady United’s Technical Director

Former Singapore Head Coach/ FAS Technical Director

 

 

 

“I think Singapore has got 40% of making it. Thailand will qualify for sure. Host-Philippines will be strong contender for the second spot. Having said that, being host, Philippines will face pressure to perform well at home. And even if Indonesia has been missing all the actions for a while, we are unable to underestimate them too.”

 

Collin Chee

Celebrity/ Former Singapore National Team Manager

 

 

 

“Tough but interesting group for Singapore. We do not know who we are playing against first at the moment but Singapore must take 1 game at a time and treat every game like a final if they want to progress from group stage. Obviously, to do well, our spine of the team got to be extremely strong which I strongly believe players like Harris Harun, Safuwan Baharudin and Khairul Amri will be important for us.”

 

Lionel Lewis

Former Singapore International

Tiger Cup (AFF Suzuki Cup) Winner, 2004 & 2007/ Tiger Cup MVP 2004

 

 

 

“Singapore is drawn in a very tough group. From the look at it, a simple plan will be to hold Thailand and beat the rest of the teams. It is not impossible but it needs plenty of hard work and desire to do it. Sundram has got to select the players that are performing week in week out for their clubs, Give them a good break to recharge, prepare them well and go into the tournament.”

 

Richard Bok

Current Youth Football Coach

S.League Coach of the Year Award, 2006, 2007 & 2009

 

 

 

“Definitely a hard group which both Indonesia and Singapore are in. Thailand has a strong team at this moment but Philippines have many naturalized players and we can see some of the Philippines’ teams doing well in the AFC Cup. Singapore has always been a dangerous team but I think the current S.League is not as strong as before so this can be a big problem for them because they don’t have a strong game for now.

 

And Indonesia is finally coming back to play again after having sitting out for the longest time. Of course, it will be hard for the Indonesians but the positive thing is the Indonesian league has been very good thus far and many players are ready to play. Again, it will be hard for the Indonesian players but I know they will give their best for Indonesia. So don’t write off Indonesia.”

 

Dejan Antonic

Former Persib Bandung/Kitchee SC Head Coach

 

 

 

“Group-A is Group of Death. Beside the well-known Thailand, we really don’t know much about Indonesia because of the FIFA sanction imposed on them. Philippines has got a very strong team too. Year by year, for the past 10 years they have been improving a lot. However, as a co-host they will have the home ground advantage but that also means they will also have to pressure to perform.

 

For Singapore, we have very good mixture of players who are matured enough to be leaders on and off the pitch. Players like Harris Harun, Shahril Ishak, Baihakki Khaizan & Khairul Amri, have been there and won that trophy before. We need all the players to work like a big family like what we have done in 2012 to progress from the group stage. As a team, the players need to believe they have the best team for the tournament. And if you ask me, I think we have a very good team this year. We just need to go into the tournament well-prepared. 

 

I still believe we can be in the top 2 in our group to progress as we have the right mix of players. Furthermore, playing away might be good for us so our players will feel less pressure playing at home.”

 

Aleksandar Duric

Former Singapore International

AFF Suzuki Cup Winner, 2012

 

 

 

“Obviously, the group we are drawn in is tough. The team at the moment, Thailand is dominating Southeast Asian football scene, Philippines boasted by plenty of naturalized players are making strong impact and lndonesia, the nation which has just came out from suspension is eager to show the world something. We cannot underestimate any of this team in our group. 

 

With our recent results, people might take us lightly but what we should do is to take it positively and sneak in the result wherever we can. In such tournament, we just have to raise our games. And if we do peaked at the right time, we will stand a very good chance in defying all odds. We still have a few more months to prepare ourselves.”

 

Baihakki Khaizan

Singapore International/ Johor Darul Ta’zim II

AFF Suzuki Cup Winners, 2004, 2007 & 2012

 

 

 

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