Buriram: Levir Culpi is confident his Cerezo Osaka players are fresh and ready to face the second half of the 2021 AFC Champions League Group J schedule after making significant changes to his starting lineup for the meeting previous J-League club with Port FC.
The teams reunite again on Saturday after Culpi made 10 changes to their first meeting on Wednesday, which ended in a 1-1 draw, but the Brazilian believes the break in a hectic series of matches will allow its main performers to fight for a place. in the round of 16.
“We are doing everything as usual, I think the players are in pretty good shape but we are halfway through the AFC Champions League and I want all of our players to be in the best possible condition to play. the games, “he said.” I just hope we can finish strong and we can finish first.
“I think all of our players are in the best physical condition possible now. We have six games in a tight schedule and what worried me the most was player injuries so I think now everyone has rested well and they are in the best possible condition for the next games.
Riki Harakawa, Adam Taggart and Tiago Pagnussat were all left out of the squad on match day on Wednesday but are expected to be available from the start of the second leg, with Culpi scrambling to ensure his players make more use of their opportunities. goal.
“One thing I can see from the last game is that on the set pieces we have to make some corrections, so that’s what we based our training on,” he said.
“We don’t know which players Port will pick, but we’ll be making some changes as well, so the situation in the game will be a bit different from the last game. We’ll see how it goes from there.
Cerezo leads Group J with seven points in their first three games, one more than Kitchee while Port are third with four points.
The Thai club impressed in their first meeting against the Japanese team and coach Sarawut Treephan is hopeful that the same will be true of his team.
“We know this is our first time in the group stage and I want every player to surpass themselves, have confidence and make the history of our club,” he said. “We have four points and we can improve if we get more points. You have to believe in yourself, be more disciplined and play together.
“We know they changed a lot of players in the last game, but we think they will play the same way because they have their own style of play. If we want to gain points in the game against Cerezo, we have to have good discipline and we have to be brave.
Port FC (THA) vs. Cerezo Osaka (JPN)
Location: Buriram Stadium, Buriram
Kick-off: 5:00 p.m. (UTC + 7)
Who will win?
FC Port (THA)
Cerezo Osaka (JPN)
* The survey ends at 6:00 p.m. (UTC + 8) on July 3.