Barclays Asia Trophy: Match with Stoke City will be a physical encounter, says Sundram

Singapore Selection goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud (left) and team manager V. Sundramoorthy (right) speak to journalists at a press conference ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy soccer tournament in Singapore, July 14, 2015.
Singapore Selection goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud (left) and team manager V. Sundramoorthy (right) speak to journalists at a press conference ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy soccer tournament in Singapore, July 14, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - Stoke City may have shed their bullish, physical approach under the tutelage of Mark Hughes but Singapore Selection head coach V. Sundramoorthy still expects a physical encounter when both sides meet in the third place match of the Barclays Asia Trophy on Saturday.

Singling out the towering Peter Crouch (2.03m) and Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic as the ones to watch, Sundramoorthy cautioned his side to be aware, especially with set pieces.

"It was a great outing against Arsenal and now we are looking forward to the match against Stoke," said Sundram on Friday afternoon.

"They are a physical and hard running team so we expect a hard game tomorrow."

 
 

"They have great players like Crouch and Arnautovic is excellent as well so we need to be careful and limit the time and space they have."

When asked about how he hoped to deal with Crouch's height, Sundramoorthy replied: "We have tall players but we can't find someone as tall as Crouch."

"We are looking at Baihakki (Khaizan) to mark him because he marked Per Mertesacker in the Arsenal game."

A sold-out crowd is expected Saturday night with fewer than 5,000 tickets left for purchase and Sundramoorthy is eager for his side to upset the odds.

He said: "Nobody expects us to win but in football anything is possible."

drajac@sph.com.sg