Philippines team manager Dan Palami believes the Azkals will be in for a tough campaign in the AFF Suzuki Cup no matter which group they end up in.
The draw for this year’s competition will take place in Yangon on Tuesday and the Philippines could find themselves facing 2012 champions Singapore or 2014 winners Thailand.
However, as one of the host of the the group stage, the Philippines will feel they have an edge.
Palami believes that the Azkals, who have reached the semi-finals for the last three editions of the tournament, will need to be well prepared for the tournament.
“There are no easy matches in the Suzuki Cup,” he told reporters. “We can’t afford to rely on the draw. Whatever happens, we need to have the best preparation if we want to make the finals for the first time.”
Teams in the same pots for the draw will be drafted into separate groups. Pot 1 consists of co-hosts Myanmar and Philippines, while Thailand and Malaysia are in Pot 2. Singapore and Vietnam are in pot 3, while Indonesia in pot 4 The winner of October’s qualifying event in Cambodia will fill the final spot in pot 4.