Match: Singapore v Malaysia
Date: 7 October, Friday
Time: 8:30pm SGT/6pm IST/1:30pm BST
Venue: Singapore National Stadium
Competition: International Friendly
TV Coverage: In Singapore, the TV coverage of the international friendly between Singapore and Malaysia will be on Eleven Singapore.
Singapore host Malaysia in an international friendly at the National Stadium on 7 October.
It has been a tough time for the hosts' caretaker coach V Sundramoorthy and things will get tougher against their fiercest rivals at the Causeway Challenge on Friday, which will also be his first home game since taking over from Bernd Stange earlier this year.
The Lions have not been in the best of their form after losing to Bahrain, Cambodia and Vietnam since winning their first game under the 51-year-old against Myanmar in June.
Singapore and Malaysia will meet for the first time in two years since their 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup clash. The then defending champions crashed out of the tournament after they were handed a 3-1 defeat by the Tigers in their final group clash.
Notably, the two nations are gearing up for their 2016 Suzuki Cup, which will be held in Myanmar and Philippines from 19 November to 17 December. Despite the two teams being drawn in different groups, a win on Friday at the National Stadium will give them enough confidence and bragging rights before heading into the tournament.
Ahead of the crucial tie, Sundramoorthy wants the fans to be patient with his team, which he believes will produce results soon. He also said he expects an intense game that will give his team good exposure before the Suzuki Cup.
"It's just four months into the job, I hope the fans can be patient. If the team perform, the results will come," Sundramoorthy was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.
"This is about a challenge against our arch-rivals. I hope the game will bring our fans together. It will be intense but it will be a good warm-up game that will give the boys good exposure."
Sundramoorthy has been lamenting the lack of experience in the squad and a 2-1 defeat to Cambodia in July worsened his problems. However, the former international is more than relieved to have his experienced campaigners Daniel Bennett and Mustafic Fahrudin back in the squad.
Speaking of the two veterans, who were recalled to the squad, the caretaker coach added: "They have won the Suzuki Cup three times. They have that winning mentality and it will rub off on the younger ones."
On the other hand, Ong Kim Swee is facing an arduous task of rebuilding the Malaysian side after the controversial retirements of senior Johor Darul Ta'zim stars, including former captain Safiq Rahim, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, Amirulhadi Zainal and S Kunalan in July.
The impact of the veterans' absence from the squad was immediately seen as Kim Swee's squad suffered a 3-0 defeat to Indonesia last month.
"It's not going to be easy heading there with the situation we are facing but we have to take things with a pinch of salt and look at the positive," Ong Kim had said ahead of Friday's clash, as quoted by the FourFourTwo.
Singapore: Eleven Singapore
Possible XI: Hassan Sunny; Shakir Hamzah, Daniel Bennett, Baihakki Khaizan, Juma'at Jantan; Gabriel Quak, Harris Harun, Mustafic Fahrudin, Izzdin Shafiq, Sufawan Bahrudin; Khairul Amri
Possible XI: Khairul Fahmi; Ronny, Mohd Fadhli, Mathew Davies, Mohd Azrif Nasrulhaq; Mohamad Irfan, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Wan Zack Haickal; Brendan Gan, Muhamad Safawi, Mohd Amri