Preview: Balestier Khalsa vs New Radiant

Singapore’s Balestier Khalsa FC take on Maldives outfit New Radiant SC in Group F of the AFC Cup at Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Tuesday.

In the group standings with two matches to play, Kaya FC of the Philippines are top with nine points followed by Hong Kong’s Kitchee on seven points then Khalsa with four and bottom are Radiant on two points.

Balestier kicked off their AFC Cup group campaign by drawing 2-2 in Male with Radiant then won 1-0 in Singapore against Kitchee. They then lost 1-0 at Kaya before getting thumped 3-0 last time out by Kaya in Singapore.

The men from Singapore will be without star forward Miroslav Kristic who is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic told FourFourTwo that he believes that if his side win their last two matches there is still a chance they can reach the last 16.

“Playing at home gives us some edge. We have everything in our hands and us progressing still depends on ourselves, not external results,” Kraljevic said.

“We need to go all out and put pressure from the beginning of the game. We need to attack so Jamil will start, Syafiq (Zainal) too. We need more attacking players who can give us lots of creativity in the attacking third.”

In domestic action on Thursday, Khalsa defeated Garena Young Lions 2-0. In their last five league matches, Khalsa have won one and lost four and are eighth in the league standings after nine games.

Radiant began their AFC Cup group stage campaign by drawing 2-2 with Khalsa in Male. They then lost 1-0 at Kaya and followed that up with a 0-0 draw in Hong Kong against Kitchee before losing 2-0 at home against Kitchee in the return leg.

Radiant will be without first-choice goalkeeper Sulemana Abu who received a straight red for handling the ball outside the box during the clash with Kitchee two weeks ago.

Radiant coach Iordan Stoykov is hoping to get their first win on Tuesday against a Khalsa side that they drew 2-2 last time they met.

“Tomorrow we will meet a big challenge. Still, I hope we will get our first win,” Stoykov said.

“We respect the hosts, they are a good team, but we have ambitions.

“We created a lot of chances but unfortunately, we missed them and that is the main reason we only took one point against Balestier.”

Domestically, Radiant are the defending Dhivehi Premier League champions and in their opening match of the 2016 season, they lost 3-2 against Maziya on Tuesday.

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