Sydney FC sit dead-last in their Asian Champions League group with one point from three games, a dismal return on the club's lofty Asian ambitions.Β 

After claiming Sydney's target was to win the title, Arnold's men have been humbled after 2-0 home losses to Kashima Antlers and Suwon Bluewings. Yet, due to the tight nature of Group H, they're not out of the running yet.

Shanghai Shenhua's three consecutive draws has given Sydney hope of an unlikely comeback, but it will rest on a positive result against Kashima.

he Antlers are having a nightmare season in Japan - sitting ninth in the league - but are undefeated in the Asian Champions League.

Injury woes

Arnold's believes that Sydney have been unlucky so far, saying "we feelΒ every game we've been as good if not better than the opponent."

But the Sky Blues will have no choice but to field a weakened squad for this crucial ACL clash, with Bobo, Michael Zullo and Milos Ninkovic out injured, whileΒ Brandon O'Neill will miss the match due to suspension.

These injuries leave holes in Sydney's squad throughout the pitch, with two internationals missing alongside Jordy Buijs, who wasn't included in Sydney's ACL squad.Β 

Danger men

While Sydney will rely heavily on the goal-scoring and creative abilities of Adrian Mierzejewski, Kashima have their own midfield talisman in Mu Kanazaki, while Shoma Doi is a persistent threat.Β 

Fullback Atsuto Uchida is another Antlers star with international pedigree, the former Shalke 04 stalwart racking up over 70 caps for the Japanese national team.

Kashima, like many J-League clubs, also boast a plethora of Brazilian talent. Leandro, Pedro Junior and Leo Silva are J-League veterans and offer bundles of attacking flair.Β 

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