PREVIEW: Fourth-placed Perak look to fend off fifth-placed Selangor's challenge

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Preview of the exciting clash between neighbours Perak and Selangor is brought to you by UBERMEN

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The Super League action resumes this Tuesday, and one of the most-anticipated matches will be betweek fourth and fifth Perak and Selangor at the Perak Stadium.

The clash will see Selangor legend Mehmet Durakovic, who won the Malaysia Cup with the Red Giants as player and head coach, pit his Perak against his former club.

CURRENT FORMS

21-point Bos Gaurus are currently separated with the Red Giants by only one point, and a win will see them keep pace with second-placed Kedah and third Pahang, both on 24 points. A home defeat will also allow Selangor to pip them to fourth place. The visitors meanwhile will want to fend off the challenges of the resurgent Felda United in sixth, currently also on 20 points.

Both teams' current records are good, with Tuesday hosts having recorded three back-to-back wins in all competitions since the second stretch of the domestic season began on July 1.

Tuesday's visitors too have not done too badly, with returning Indonesia star Andik Vermansah guiding them to two wins and one draw.

Perak have the home advantage ahead of the match, having won four, drawn four and lost two matches at home all season, while Selangor have won twice, drawn thrice and lost three times away from home this season.

RECENT RECORDS

Furthermore, their head-to-head recent record favours Tuesday's hosts slightly. Out of their five most recent encounters, the Bos Gaurus have won three with the Red Giants the victors in two.

But oddly enough, Selangor's away record against Perak is rather good. In the past five matches between the two sides that were hosted by Perak, Selangor have won three, Perak one, with the remaining match ending in a draw. In fact, the last time Perak beat Selangor at home was back in 2012, a 2-0 win in the Super League.

Perak v Selangor GIF

PLAYER AVAILABILITY

In terms of availability, none of Durakovic's men are injured or suspended for the match, although he is likely to change his line-up to freshen things up, as he has used the same starting line-up for the past three matches.

Maniam Pachaiappan will be without star youngster Syahmi Safari who is recovering from an ankle injury and is currently with Malaysia U22, but he too may change things around, moreso with Andik having played every minute of their past three matches.

Furthermore, Maniam may want to reconsider picking centre back Ugo Ukah for this match. The usually dependable Nigerian defender has caused the Red Giants to lose both their most recent encounters against the Bos Gaurus. In September last year, he scored an own goal before being sent off for a second yellow, in a match that Perak won 1-0. In March this year, he conceded a penalty that Perak converted before also getting his marching orders, in the match that Perak again won 1-0.

VERDICT

One aspect may separate the two sides this Tuesday; their defences' organisation. Although both sides have scored almost the same number of goals in their last three matches (Perak eight and Selangor seven), the Red Giants defence is the more porous of the two sides. They last time they did not concede in a match was back in February against Kelantan, and more recently they still managed to concede two against T-Team, in a match they dominated from start to finish and won 4-2.

This match is likely to end in a goalless draw, or a win to the hosts.

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