Channel NewsAsia

Football: Singapore faces stern tests in AFF Suzuki Cup title defence

Thailand and Malaysia stand in Singapore's way as the Lions try to lift the title for a record fifth time. However, Singapore will enjoy home-ground advantage with group games to be played at the new National Stadium.

SINGAPORE: The Lions begin their AFF Suzuki Cup title defence against traditional powerhouse Thailand on Sunday, Nov 23. Singapore was drawn with Thailand and Malaysia in Group B, as well as the winner of the Qualifying Round. Five countries - Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Timor Leste - are vying for the remaining two spots in the competition.

In a statement released by the Football Association of Singapore on Wednesday (Aug 13), Singapore's head coach Bernd Stange said every match in Group B will be tough, with "obvious historical rivalry" with Malaysia and a "keen sense of competition" with Thailand.

"Despite this, we remain confident that if we continue to build on the strong foundations we have laid so far, we will do Singapore proud. The team is young and hungry for success, and I hope we will soon get familiar with the new Sports Hub so as to get the same home advantage we have enjoyed at the Jalan Besar Stadium.”

All Group B matches will take place at Singapore's new National Stadium. Vietnam, which has been grouped with the Philippines and Indonesia, is hosting all Group A matches.

The AFF Suzuki Cup tournament will kick off on Nov 22, with the two-legged final to be played on Dec 17 and Dec 20.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia