Malaysia Super League Matchday 7 Preview

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Durakovic looks for positive home debut while two foreign coaches battle it out at Batu Kawan Stadium


 BY       OOI KIN FAI      Follow on Twitter


Super League enter its first midweek action in Round 7 of the 2017 season with some tasty fixtures spread out over two days. You can read the specific previews of Pahang v PKNS, Sarawak v Johor Darul Ta'zim and Selangor v Kedah by clicking on the respective links. Here's the round-up of the the three remaining fixtures of match day 7.

Perak v Kelantan

Kelantan's Mohammed Ghaddar (left) tries to elude Selangor's Ugo Ukah 25/2/2017

Kelantan travel to Ipoh for the second time in three weeks as they look to better the disappointing result on their last trip there. The Red Warriors were humiliated by PKNP FC in the FA Cup action in their last visit and by any measure, Perak are a much stronger team than PKNP so Zahasmi Ismail is definitely in for a rough ride. He has to pick his players up again after their 0-2 reverse to Selangor despite being at home.

Much will be relied on the form of Mohammed Ghaddar up front for Kelantan given how much the team is struggling for creativity. Should Qayyum Marjoni be fielded further forward on the left hand side, he's one who has the guile to trouble Perak and provide the service to Ghaddar. Perak's Amirul Azhan will have to be ready to face the tricky Qayyum but should get enough protection should Zaquan Adha be fielded alongside him.

Mehmet Durakovic seeks his first win in what will be his debut match on home turf. The Australian has much to do if he wants to win the hearts of Perak fans, most of which has the utmost of respect and admiration for the man he replaced, Karl-Heinz Weigang. It could very well start against Kelantan as The Bos Gaurus should start as favourites for this encounter.

Penang v Melaka United

Pulau Pinang's Faiz Subri playing against Selangor 21/1/2017

Action at the Batu Kawan Stadium will see currently point-less Penang welcoming the visit of Melaka United. Both teams suffered defeats in the last league match, to Kedah and Pahang respectively and will be looking to overturn their fortunes on Wednesday. In the clash between two English-speaking coaches, Ashley Westwood is undeniably the man under bigger pressure compared to Eric Williams.

Westwood have not collected a single point from their six league matches thus far and this one against Melaka at home, represents their best chance to get off the mark. With Nigel Dabingyaba finally fit and Faiz Subri netting at the weekend, Penang finally get their attack going two months after the start of the 2017 season.

The problems facing Williams is an internal one. Rumours of tension within the squad, especially between Amri Yahyah and Ilija Spasojevic will not be a welcomed distraction for Williams, given how meekly they surrendered against Pahang. With Sergio Aguero still finding his feet in Malaysian football, if the supposed row between Amri and Spasojevic cannot be resolved, Melaka could well be the first team to concede points to Penang this season.

T-Team v Felda United

Hadin Azman Ifwat Akmal Felda United Kedah Super League 4/2/17

Having tasted their second defeat of the 2017 league season, T-Team will entertain the visit of Felda United in Kuala Terengganu hoping to push on from their current mid-table position. It's 6th v 11th at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium although only three points separates Rahmad Darmawan's side and B. Sathianathan's side.

While no teams like to lose, it will be rather easy for Darmawan and his players to put that defeat at the weekend to Johor Darul Ta'zim on one side, considering the disparity in quality between the two teams. T-Team have not lost at home thus far this season and that is likely the source of confidence that they will look to draw out against Felda.

As for Sathianathan, the fighting spirit that his players showed to come back from 0-2 down to draw against Perak will see them go into this match in a more positive fashion. Having seen Lucas Cano notched his first goal in Felda colours, his partnership with Norshahrul Idlan could very well force T-Team on the back foot on Wednesday evening.

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