Asian Cup Qualifying: Oman v Singapore

Oman will look to put the seal on an impressive Asian Cup qualifying campaign when they host Singapore on Wednesday.

Paul Le Guen's side have been unbreachable in their previous five Group A fixtures, winning three and drawing two without conceding a single goal so far.

They lead the group by two points from Jordan and although both teams have already qualified for the showpiece in Australia next year, they will be keen to end their campaign with a victory and finish as group winners.

Oman won the first fixture between the two sides 2-0 in August, thanks to first-half strikes from Qasim Said and Eid Mohammed, the latter having scored two of their four goals in qualifying so far.

Le Guen's men have not conceded a goal in any form of competition for eight matches, since a 1-0 defeat to Jordan in a World Cup qualifier back in June, although they have found goals hard to come by themselves, with just three scored in that same period.

Singapore, meanwhile, require a minor miracle if they are to claim a spot in next year's finals with a highest-ranked third-place finish across the five groups.

With just three points to their name thus far - thanks to a 2-1 home win over Syria in October - they need to secure a heavy victory on Wednesday and hope that a host of unlikely results fall in their favour, as well as a huge swing in their goal difference.

It looks beyond the realms of possibility for Bernd Stange's men, who have scored just three times in their previous five group fixtures.

They will be without defender Baihakki Khaizan, who is suspended after being sent off in the 3-1 reverse at the hands of Jordan last time out, and Stange that knows his men face a difficult test.

"Oman has one of the best teams in Asia, and they have done very well to qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup," he told the Football Association of Singapore's official website.

"On top of that, we know that they will not be resting on their laurels so we have to play at our highest level.

"We will try to achieve a good result in Oman but the result is not the most important thing. All the players have to show that they deserve to represent Singapore.

"I look forward to another interesting and challenging encounter with Oman."

Despite the two sides' differing fortunes so far during qualifying, Oman goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi insists that they will treat their opponents with the utmost respect.

"We are not taking Singapore lightly," he told The Times of Oman. "We want to complete our qualifying campaign with another win. It will boost our morale ahead of the Asian Cup."

Al Habsi is among the players set to return to the squad after overcoming injury, with forward Amad Al Hosni also back in place of Ismail Al Ajmi.

However, midfielders Hassan Madhafar and Mohamed Al Siyabi are ruled out with injuries and Abdulsallam Al Mukhaini is suspended.


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