Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) host Boeung Ket Angkor in the opening match of AFC Cup 2017 Group F, which also has Philippines' Global FC and Myanmar Magwe FC, at the Larkin Stadium in Johor on Tuesday.
While the defending Malaysian Super League champions start as favourites, their recent struggles in the league following the departure of their two key Argentinian strikers Juan Lucero and Pereyra Diaz, who scored 43 goals in all competitions between them last season, has given the Cambodian champions a window to clinch a win on the road.
JDT missed out on an opportunity to reach the group stages of AFC Champions League for the first time despite winning their preliminary stage match win against Thailand's Bangkok United as they slipped in the next round against Japan's Gamba Osaka 3-0. The 2014 champions also have got only one win from their four games in the new league season and are ranked eighth in the 12-team table.
They are heading into Tuesday's game on the back of a 2-1 defeat to local side Perak. However, newly-appointed coach Benjamin Mora is reportedly not concerned with the lack of positve results and believes that the revamped unit will only get better with time.
On the other hand, Boeung Ket became the first side from Cambodia to qualify for the tournament after defeating Lao Toyota 2-1 on aggregate in the play-offs. Ahead of their title defence, which begins on Sunday against Svay Rieng, John McGlynn's side will face one of its biggest tests in Johor.
The Cambodia League champions also have to cope up without last season's top-scorer Chan Vathanaka, who has moved to Japan on loan, Yuya Wada and Samuel Gbenga Ajayi. The revamped side now has Brazilian striker Rogerio Calijuri leading the line and also the team should take confidence from their 3-0 win in their Charity Cup final against National Defense.
Cambodia: Fox Sports
Malaysia: Fox Sports
Singapre: Fox Sports
Thailand: Fox Sports
Philippines: Fox Sports
Indonesia: Fox Sports
Possible XI: Possible XI: Tarmizi; Antonio, Mahalli, Fazly, Amirulhadi; Safiq, Kunalan, Shakir, Afiq; Cabrera, Guerra
Possible XI: Makara; Sovan, Vibol, Samoeun, Ly, Pencharong; Mizan, Mizuno, Maycon, Laboravy, Muramatsu