SEA Games Group A: Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei and Laos
While they may have four ASEAN titles to their name at senior level, their under-23s have yet to attain a SEA Games gold medal till date – clinching bronze in 2007, 2009 and 2013.
They last played in the final in 1989, losing 3-1 to Malaysia when there were no age restrictions in the football tournament.
The Young Lions will surely be looking to do better than the last edition in 2015, where they crashed out in the group stages on home soil.
The coach: Richard Tardy
Having led Rwanda to a second-place finish at the 2011 African Under-17 Championship and coaching the same team at the 2011 FIFA U17 World Cup, the 67-year-old French tactician is no spring chicken at this level. However, he has his work cut out, with the side enjoying just two wins in 2017.
Key player(s) to watch: Ikhsan Fandi
With elder brother Irfan settled in defence these days, the spotlight falls on Ikhsan – second son of Singapore legendary forward Fandi Ahmad – as he is expected to lead the line.
While he may be the youngest of the squad at 18 years old, he has been setting a good example as evident in the stunning brace in a 4-1 win against Brunei at last month’s AFC U23 Championship qualifiers. Watch out for his pace, trickery and obviously, goals.
Having avoided the likes of defending champions Thailand and Vietnam, it is needless to state that finishing in the top two to qualify for the semi-finals is a bare minimum.
Myanmar are expected to top Group A, but it is very much anybody’s game (Singapore, Malaysia, Laos and Brunei) to finish second.