Sydney FC continue their AFC Champions League campaign in a testing trip to Kashima Antlers on Tuesday night (9:00pm AEDT).
Sydney FC continue their AFC Champions League campaign in a testing trip to Kashima Antlers on Tuesday night (kick off 9:00pm AEDT).
Graham Arnold will expect a better performance than the one that resulted in a 2-0 defeat against the same opponent last week.
Goals from Shoma Doi and Naomichi Ueda lifted Kashima to the top of Group H, with the Sky Blues sitting on one point.
Bobô, Milos Ninkovic and Michael Zullo have all been ruled out with injury concerns.
Brandon O’Neill is also unavailable through suspension, meaning Arnold has to rejig much of his preferred starting XI.
COACH QUOTES (Graham Arnold)
“It’s just a matter taking your opportunities when you get those big moments.
“We learnt that [Kashima] are strong at set pieces but other than that there was nothing to separate the two teams tactically.
“It was a great performance, we created more open opportunities in general play, but we need to take them when you get to this level.
“We feel every game we’ve been as good if not better than the opponent.”
The Antlers lost 1-0 at home to Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Saturday, leaving them ninth with four points from a possible nine in the J.League.
They were unbeaten in their five previous competitive matches.
In the AFC Champions League, Kashima drew 1-1 with Shanghai Shenhua before back-to-back away wins against Suwon Bluewings and Sydney FC.
KASHIMA KEY PLAYERS
Shoma Doi showed last week why he’s been capped twice by Japan and will need to be watched closely.
Attacking midfielder Mu Kanazaki missed the first meeting but, with three goals in his last four appearances, could make for a handy inclusion.
Sydney FC face Brisbane Roar at Allianz Stadium in a Family Fun Day out with an exclusive screening of ‘Ferdinand’ on the big screens ahead of our 7:50pm kick off! Be there to enjoy the film and back your Sky Blues in another crunch clash.