Eastern desperately need victory when they tackle Malaysian side Kedah in an AFC Cup group G clash at Mong Kok Stadium tonight. With one victory in three matches, a defeat at home would rock Eastern's hopes of reaching the knockout stage. 'We are facing an uphill battle, especially after our defeat by Kedah in the away match two weeks ago,' said Eastern assistant coach Loh Kai-wah. 'If we lose again, we are almost out.' Chonburi of Thailand head the group with a 100 per cent winning record, while the three remaining teams are all on three points. The top two will advance to the knockout stage. Eastern stay in second place with the best goal difference and a victory tonight can revitalise their hopes. 'Against Kedah in the away match, we had to play on a flooded ground, which we are not used to, and we also had problems with the hot climate. That's why we lost 2-0. In fact, both teams are more or less on par, and with the home ground advantage, we certainly have a chance to make amends,' added Loh. To strengthen the squad, Eastern striker Julius Akosah, who suffered a broken toe on his right foot last month and did not make the trip to Kedah, will have to start, even though he has not fully recovered. 'We need a strong player up front to score goals and, although Akosah is still troubled by his toe injury, his presence will help add firing power with his strong physique,' said Loh. In group F, South China can secure a place in the next round if they beat Johor FC in Malaysia today. The Caroliners are leading the group with three straight wins and only Medan of Indonesia look capable of mounting a challenge to the leaders. Medan, who are on six points, will travel to the Maldives to take on home team V.B.