With top players either injured of suspended, the AFC encounter for Pune FC will be a tough call for them as they clash with Hong Kong's Kitchee at the Balewadi Sports complex on Tuesday.
Mike Snoei coached side will miss Gabriel Fernandes and Douhou Pierre due to injury, while defender Calum Angus will be missed due to suspension after picking up his second booking of the group stage against Nay Pyi Taw in the previous game.
"Our away game against Kitchee (earlier in the competition) was our best performance. We played an unbelievable second half and had a few chances to win it at the end. We have good memories of the game, but will all depend on the bench strength who will have to come up good,"said coach Snoei
"Now, we must try and get a good win for the club for a good end (to the season)."
Commenting on their rivals, the coach said, "we can play dominant football, but we need our best players for it. Tomorrow we might have a different midfield due to injuries but they (Kitchee) too have a few players missing. These things happen towards the end of the season. But we still have a good group of players tomorrow."
With Kitchee having already qualified for the next round as group-winners, Pune FC (4th in Group-H with 3 points) will be keen to log their first-ever AFC Cup win and try to improve their position on the table.
Coached by Chu Chi Kwong, Kitchee plies its trade in the Hong Kong First Division League and have recently been crowned as domestic champions. Having already wrapped up the domestic league, the Hong Kong giants will now be focussed solely on their continental campaign and will prove a tough nut to crack.
"This is the second time we are coming to Pune. Last year we played here during the same month and we have some experience of the conditions and the pitch here,"said coach Kwong."
The match kicks off at 5.00 PM IST on Tuesday.