Turkmenistan are upbeat going into tomorrow's World Cup qualifier against Hong Kong but admit they know little about their higher-ranked hosts.
'We know nothing about Hong Kong football but we have a good team here with no injury problems,' said head coach Rakhim Kurbanmamedov after leading the team for a practice session in Sha Tin yesterday. 'The conditions are perfect, good weather and everything is fine.'
Hong Kong are 135th in the Fifa rankings while the central Asian state are ranked 158th, and the Turkmens will be cautious but not fearful before the Asian zone second-round qualifying match at Hong Kong Stadium tomorrow.
Turkmenistan only managed a 1-0 win over minnows Cambodia in the away match of the previous qualifying round, but scored a convincing 4-1 victory in the return leg in Ashgabat.
Striker Vladimir Bayramov, who is with Russian Premier League side FC Rubin Kazan, did not feature against the Cambodians, but looks certain to play against Hong Kong and he looked sharp in training yesterday.
'They passed the ball very well during training, with some neat movement penetrating into the penalty area,' said Hong Kong coach Lai Sun-cheung. 'I don't believe in rankings. They look a very good team.'