Football: 'We'll attack Juve'

Football: 'We'll attack Juve'
GOING FOR GOALS: Singapore Selection coach Bernd Stange will be relying on the likes of promising local striker Sahil Suhaimi (right) and the foreign firepower of Nicholas Velez (above, left), Miroslav Pejic (above, right) against Juventus.

The game is a little over two weeks away, but national coach Bernd Stange is already preaching a simple tactical mantra for his Singapore Selection side's glamour friendly against Juventus in a glamour friendly on Aug 16.

"It is simple: we must attack, but we cannot open up defensively.

That's the simple plan for the game," the German told The New Paper yesterday, hours after he unveiled his 21-man squad for the match.

"Fans need to understand that we will mostly play with players who will be available for the AFF Suzuki Cup, and we will be facing superstars, but I want to see confidence, and signs of attacking football. "We will definitely not 'park the bus'."

The former Iraq and Belarus coach named three non-Singaporeans in his squad.

They are Home United's French utility man Sirina Camara, and Warriors FC attacking duo, Argentinian Nicholas Velez and Croat Miroslav Pejic.

Warriors Coach Alex Weaver has been recruited to join Stange's coaching team, who will also include Fandi Ahmad and Aide Iskandar.

"One thing has been made clear to me, this is not a game where we look forward to swopping shirts at the end, we're focused on the match, and the result," said Englishman Weaver.

"There is of course a purpose to the game, to prepare the national team for the Suzuki Cup."

Singapore are defending champions of the regional tournament held at the end of the year and, after facing Czech side Brno and Russian teams Torpedo Moscow and Dinamo Moscow on their recent training tour to Austria, Stange is looking forward to playing even tougher opponents.

BUILDING UP

"We were building up by playing those teams, then taking on Juventus.

"But after this match, we must slow down, and come back to our level in South-east Asia, and we will play games against teams like Hong Kong," said Stange, who revealed that rules of the friendly, including the number of substitutions allowed, have not been discussed.

The game will take on extra significance, not just because Juventus are the reigning Serie A champions and have promised to bring their best side here.

The match will be the first football game to be played at the 55,000-capacity stadium, which is the centrepiece of the $1.33 billion Singapore Sports Hub at Kallang.

While Stange believes facing the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba will be great preparation for the Suzuki Cup, his plan to get his team battle ready has hit a snag.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have made changes to the Malaysia Cup schedule, which will now kick off on Aug 13, with the final on Nov 8.

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