Sydney FC's welcome in Vietnam may have been warm so far but midfielder Anthony Caceres isn't expecting any hospitality from their Asian Champions League opponents Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

Sydney FC ACL Journey

  • Sydney FC lost their opening match to Yokohama F. Marinos 2-1
  • They play Hoang And Gia Lai on Tuesday evening.
  • The Sky Blues are currently third in Group H.

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The Sky Blues face the Vietnamese top-flight team in their second group stage fixture on Tuesday, after beginning their campaign with a goalless draw with South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Sunday.

HAGL lost their opener against Kevin Muscat's Yokohama F. Marinos 2-1 but Caceres said the supposed group minnows showed plenty for Sydney to be wary of in that contest.

"We expect that game to be really tough, we caught a glimpse of them against Yokohama and they play with a lot of energy," Caceres told the Australian Associated Press.

"Obviously they're used to the conditions here and they've got the backing of the crowd behind them.

"That could prove to be one of the toughest games that we have in the group stage."

Facing a gruelling schedule of six games in just two weeks, Caceres knows the importance of Sydney building on the point earned against Jeonbuk.

"We need to pick up results early, that sets the tone for the rest of the competition," said the 29-year-old, a veteran of three prior Asian Champions League group stage campaigns.

"We can take plenty of confidence from that Jeonbuk game but this game is going to be completely different.

"I expect a more intense game.

"They'd be keen to prove themselves in front of the crowd, in their home country and we need to be up for the challenge from the beginning."

Caceres said the Sky Blues have settled in well to their COVID-19 bubble in Ho Chi Minh City and despite playing a full 90 minutes in oppressive conditions against Jeonbuk, he's pulled up well to back up in Tuesday's game.

"Physically I'm probably in the best shape that I have been in my career," he said.

"I feel like I'm more than capable of backing up regularly in this condensed schedule.

"It's a challenge that I actually really enjoy."


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