Kuala Lumpur: After a nine-year absence the Causeway Derby returns to centre stage at the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 with Malaysia and Singapore going head-to-head with a spot in the semi-finals at stake.

In a passionate pre-match address, Malaysia coach Kim Pan-gon called on the Harimau Malaya fans to create a ‘festival atmosphere’ at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Tuesday whilst declaring there is a clear difference in the tactical approach of the two nations.

“I’m not talking about the level of football but about how they approach things and how we approach things. They are quite negative, they care about defending and look for counter-attacks.

“With Malaysia we want to be pro-active, to dominate games playing energetic football but Singapore has their own style and we need to respect that.”

Given that Malaysia sit a point behind the visitors they know that nothing less than a win will do but that suits the way that Kim wants to play.

“The players, the staff, everybody is ready for this match and of course while Singapore have their advantages we too also have our advantages and with the backing and full support of the crowd we will fight and do our best to get the result we need.”

Singapore could be excused for taking a more cautious approach given they know a draw will send them through to the knockout stages but according to coach Takayuki Nishigaya playing for a point hasn’t entered the equation

“Of course we have the advantage in knowing a point is enough and that Malaysia need to win but that won’t change the way we play.

“We have respect for the opposition but we want to attack as much as possible and whilst we expect Malaysia to be aggressive we also want to do the same.”

For the players this is also a special occasion as the two rival nations clash in the Malaysian capital, as midfielder Anumanthan Kumar explained.

“We’re all excited, we’re ready and we know this will be a big game. Many of us have played in these matches before and so that will help with the crowd management and we’re excited because we grew up watching these matches.

“More important than all that though is we have a clear objective to get the three points and qualify."