Amri set for a century of Singapore caps

There are few surprises in Bernd Stange's 23-strong Singapore squad to take on Syria in their World Cup qualifier next month, with the Lions also set to take on Qatar in a friendly this Saturday.

LionsXII forward Khairul Amri will earn a landmark 100th cap should he play in either game, joining a select group that includes current Singapore teammates Shahril Ishak and Baihakki Khaizan.

"It is an honour and privilege to have played 99 matches for my country," he said. "To be able to earn my 100th cap in a year in which we celebrate our country’s 50 years of independence is an amazing feeling.

"I want to thank my family, my teammates and coaches both past and present, the fans and the FAS (Football Association of Singapore) management for their strong support of the national team over the past 10 years.

"I am humbled to achieve my 100th cap and I will continue to work hard."

Meanwhile, Courts Young Lions midfielder Adam Swandi has earned his first call-up to the senior national team since 2013.

The 19-year-old returned from France last year after his stint with the FC Metz youth teams and although he is set to enter National Service soon, he has apparently done enough to impress Stange.

“I am very excited to be called up to the national team again," he said. "It is my first call up to the senior team in almost two years and I must thank coach Bernd for placing his faith in me.

"Since the resumption of the S.League last month, I have been playing regularly and it’s been a joy to play this passing style of football.

"I will continue to work hard and aim to improve my game under the guidance of coach Bernd.”

In total, Stange has called up 14 LionsXII players as well as four foreign-based footballers – Army United's Hassan Sunny, Johor Darul Ta'zim's (JDT) Hariss Harun and JDT II's Shahril and Baihakki.

The rest of the team is made out of S.League players, with Swandi the only Young Lions player called up.

"Every single player in this squad has earned his place," Stange said. "They have been performing well for their clubs and are at a level where I am confident they can play the style of football I have been trying to implement ever since I became the national coach two years ago.

"We are now more comfortable with this style, which is the way forward in modern football. I believe we can achieve something against Syria if we perform to our full abilities.

"Matches against top teams such as Qatar will enable our players to test themselves and develop further.

"After two good away performances in Cambodia and Japan, we want to cement our position by doing well against Syria.

"After that we will have four straight home matches and if we do well, we will be in a good position."

Singapore will take on Qatar in an international friendly at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Saturday, August 29.

They will then face Syria in their Group E World Cup qualifier at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman on Thursday, September 3.

Singapore squad to take on Qatar and Syria

Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny (Army Utd), Izwan Mahbud (LionsXII), Zaiful Nizam (Balestier Khalsa)

Defenders: Faritz Hameed, Madhu Mohana, Shakir Hamzah, Hafiz Sujad (LionsXII), Baihakki Khaizan (JDT II), Shaiful Esah (Tampines Rovers)

Midfielders: Nazrul Nazari, Safuwan Baharudin, Izzdin Shafiq, Zulfahmi Arifin, Shahdan Sulaiman, Gabriel Quak, Faris Ramli (LionsXII), Yasir Hanapi (Home Utd), Adam Swandi (Courts Young Lions), Hariss Harun (JDT)

Forwards: Khairul Nizam, Khairul Amri (LionsXII), Shahril Ishak (JDT II), Fazrul Nawaz (Warriors FC)