The Southern Tigers lose key centre back for Malaysia Cup tie

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Sarawak is the next test for JDT but even with the absence of a key player, the league leaders should still start the match as favourites.

Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) will take on Sarawak at the State Stadium in Kuching on Saturday night as the 2017 Malaysia Cup group stage enters the fourth batch of matches. 

However, the current runaway Super League leaders will be without one of their key defenders as Marcos Antonio has been ruled out of the match with an injury.

Head coach of JDT, Ullises Morais provided an update on the availability of the big Brazilian centre back in his statement on the club's Facebook page

Morais has tended to send out a mixed team in the Malaysia Cup and having just completed a tiresome league match against Perak on Wednesday, could opt for the same tactics again.

Aidil Zafuan is expected to come in for the injured Antonio while Amirulhadi Zainal, Hazwan Bakri, Azrif Nasrulhaq, Nazmi Faiz and Haziq Nadzli could also be named in the starting XI.

Having not feature a single minute of game time for the club this season, there could also be a place on the bench for Gary Steven Robbat.

The combative midfielder has been struggling for fitness for a large chunk of the season and have only been on the bench in the last away Malaysia Cup match against Terengganu.

Gary could be joined on the bench with the stars of the JDT side like Safiq Rahim, Gonzalo Cabrera, Gabriel Guerra and Mohammed Ghaddar who all stand to not to be risked from the start.

The Southern Tigers are currently in second place in the Group D, behind Selangor. The three points gap, came by virtue of the defeat to Selangor in their last cup outing.

The top two finishers qualify for the knockout stage and JDT should have little trouble getting another win against struggling Sarawak, even with their second stringers on show.

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