Nothing less than a win will do for Suwon Samsung Bluewings when they meet Shanghai SIPG in their final AFC Champions League Group G tie, according to coach Seo Jung-won on Monday.
With Seo’s side and Australia’s Melbourne Victory level-pegging on points, the two-time continental champions from South Korea must better Melbourne’s result at home against already eliminated Gamba Osaka of Japan when they face group winners Shanghai at Suwon World Cup Stadium.
With a superior head-to-head record, Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne would go through at Suwon’s expense should the sides remain equal on points at the climax of Tuesday’s Matchday Six fixtures.
“Tomorrow is an important game and we know what we have to do,” said Seo, who saw his side record their sixth stalemate in the last seven games in all competitions when they were held 1-1 by rivals FC Seoul in the K-League Classic on Saturday.
“My players are feeling the strain after a lot of games and travelling and I am thinking about replacing some of them.
“We know that Shanghai have not brought any of their foreign players but Shanghai are a good team and if we underestimate the players they bring then we will be making a mistake.”
The Chinese Super League visitors are not only already into the last 16 in their maiden continental campaign but have sealed first place in the group.
However, with defender Li Ang suspended and foreign stars Elkeson, Dario Conca and Asamoah Gyan remaining in Shanghai it will be vastly different line-up from the side that defeated Suwon 2-1 on Matchday Two.
“We will be selecting some players who don’t always play,” said Shanghai coach Sven Goran Eriksson.
“Some of them have already appeared in league games but some have yet to play in the AFC Champions League. I am looking forward to seeing them in tomorrow’s match.
“We know that it will be a tough game at Suwon but our players are professional and will stick to the jobs that they have been given.
“We are not here on holiday. We have come here in order to win.”