Singapore book friendly vs. Qatar ahead of critical Asian Cup qualifier

Ahead of their make-or-break Asian Cup qualifier in Turkmenistan, Singapore have organised a tough friendly against 2022 World Cup hosts, Qatar.

The Lions will face the Qataris in Doha on Oct. 5 before travelling to play Turkmenistan in Ashgabat on Oct. 10.

Qatar are 77 places above Singapore in the FIFA rankings at 85th in the world. They've already qualified for the 2019 Asian Cup, and can boast competitive victories over South Korea and Syria in the last 12 months.

"Preparations in Qatar will be key for the tough away AFC Asian Cup qualifier match against Turkmenistan," Singapore head coach V. Sundramoorthy said.

"The international friendly against Qatar will not be easy, but I believe that it will serve as a good warm-up for us before the qualification game."

Singapore are bottom of Group E after only two points from their opening three matches, with two of them at home.

Having drawn 1-1 with Turkmenistan at Jalan Besar Stadium on Sept. 5, Singapore would fancy their chances of getting their first win of the campaign at the Kopetdag Stadium.

"This is a great opportunity for Singapore, and they showed in the first game that they can more than match it with Turkmenistan," former Singapore international John Wilkinson told ESPN FC.

"I predict that Singapore will nick a result in this match to get their Asian Cup campaign back on track."

The Lions have shown earlier in the campaign that they are capable of earning points away from home, having battled to a 0-0 draw away to Bahrain to begin their qualification campaign in March.