Buriram United are looking forward to a major upset at Iranian champions Esteghlal in today's first leg of their AFC Champions League quarter-final.
Buriram United players train in Teheran before their match against Esteghlal today.
The match will be played at the Azadi Stadium in Teheran and will kick off at 10.30pm Thai time.
"It will be a tough match for our team because Esteghlal are a good team but I have confidence in every player," Buriram forward coach Goran Duric said during yesterday's press conference in Teheran.
Spanish midfielder Carmelo Gonzalez did not travel with the team to Teheran for tactical reasons.
"This will not be a problem because Buriram have many good players," Duric added.
Buriram coach Scott Cooper has reorganised his squad for the match with Philippines international Javier Patino and Spanish duo Bruno Herrero and Jesus Berrocal coming in along with Thai goalkeeper Sornchai Suklom while Gonzalez, Japanese striker Kai Hirano, Chilean Ramses Bustos and goalkeeper Sirisak Faidong have made way.
Patino, who helped the Philippines qualify for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, has already reached double figures in the Thai Premier League this season while both Herrero and Berrocal arrived midway through the current campaign.
The TPL leaders will be without Thailand defender Teerathorn Bunmathan, who is suspended.
Buriram captain Suchao Nutnum said his team planned to cause an upset.
"Our team is looking forward to the match and will try to score against them and get a result," he said. "Esteghlal are a strong team with many Iran internationals but we hope to bring a surprise result back to Thailand."
The Thai FA Cup champions stunned Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan in the previous round to become the first Thai team in a decade to reach the quarter-finals of the continental club competition.
Esteghlal coach Ardeshir Ghalehnoy was well aware of Buriram's impressive victory against Bunyodkor.
"Buriram United are a good team _ they had a good result over Bunyodkor in the previous round. But we are confident we can win," he said.
Meanwhile, Guangzhou Evergrande goal-machine Muriqui paid tribute to "world-class" coach Marcello Lippi before the runaway Chinese leaders resume their quest for Asian glory today.
Brazil's Muriqui, top-scorer in the AFC Champions League with eight goals, said the Chinese champions had matured under the World Cup-winning Italian as they look to reach the tournament's semi-finals for the first time.
Guangzhou host Qatar's Lekhwiya in the first leg of the quarter-finals today.
"I believe this season Guangzhou are stronger than last year because we are more stable, mature and confident," Muriqui said.
Quarter-final first leg (Thai time)
Kashiwa Reysol (JPN) v Al Shabab (KSA) at 5pm
Guangzhou Evergrande CHN) v Lekhwiya (QAT) at 7pm
Esteghlal (IRI) v Buriram United (THA) at 10.30pm
Al Ahli (KSA) v FC Seoul (KOR) at 1am
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- Writer: Tor Chittinand