Lebanon to use Singapore friendly to test fringe players
Coach Radulovic targets win, but intends to field weakened team against Singapore
Miodrag Radulovic's Lebanon side have already made history, by qualifying for the Finals of the 2019 Asian Cup on merit for the first time.
Radulovic's charges bulldozed North Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia in Group B, securing their ticket to the tournament proper with two games to spare.
Mission accomplished, the Montenegro-born coach will be using tonight's friendly against Singapore as a chance to test his fringe players.
He said: "Each coach will try to win every game, but for us it is important to give opportunity to this whole group of 24 players.
"During the qualification, we played with maybe 14 players, now we will play with a mixed team (of regulars and fringe players) because we need to keep our main players for the Hong Kong game."
While Singapore will host Bahrain in an Asian Cup qualifier next Tuesday, Lebanon will take on Hong Kong in their penultimate Group B fixture.
Based on his team's performances so far, Radulovic believes that he has a solid core of players to rely on for the next few years.
He said: "In my three years here, we have worked very hard to change a lot in this team, and now we have good players and good people here.
"Their average age is about 28, and I think they can play (together) for about six years."
But, Lebanon will not take the game against the Lions for granted despite the gulf in their Fifa world rankings.
Lebanon are 100th in the standings, while Singapore are 73 places below.
Said Radulovic: "The Singapore team have a chance of qualifying. It is good for the coach (Sundram) to try to mix his team, to try some new players.
"I don't think he will play his full team against us but each game you can learn some good things."
As for tonight's game, he hopes to keep his charges in good shape to take on Hong Kong next week, as well as to keep their fine momentum going.
He said: "Friendly games are important, but it is more important that players stay healthy and injury-free for the qualifiers."