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January 18, 2013 8:45 PM MYT
Tan Sri Dato' Hj Hassan Yunos Stadium — Johor Bahru

Johor Darul Takzim - ATM Preview: Gladiators looking to upset Southern Tigers

In-form Armed Forces are out to record their third consecutive league victory, whilst Fandi Ahmad's Johor team will be desperate to get into some good form

By Mark Dawson

Bruno Sebastian Martelotto, ATM, Malaysia, 2012

Tuah - Aidil - Muslim - Azmi

Azwan - Safiq (c) - Adha
Safee - Guiza


K. Reuben- Taj- Irwan- Fitri

Fainizam- Adan - Rezal - Elphi
Martelotto - James

It has been a largely disappointing start to the season so far for big spending Johor Darul Takzim, who seem to have struggled with the pressure of being league favourites.  Their only victory so far this campaign has come over a nine-man Perak team, this coming after a poor opening day defeat in which they managed to throw away a two goal lead to lose at Pahang.  There were signs of promise in their 1-1 draw at Kota Bharu on Tuesday night in an entertaining game with Kelantan, but restless fans and under pressure boss Fandi Ahmad will hope the team can begin to string together a few victories.

Johor are expected to be without Simone Del Nero, who only lasted 29 minutes against Kelantan before limping off with a hamstring injury, former ATM man Zaquan Adha is expected to replace the Italian as he did on Tuesday.  Star striker Dani Guiza, who rescued his team last time out with a remarkable 30 yard free-kick, is expected to come back into the line-up, possibly at the expense of Nurul Azwan Roya or the underperforming Safee Sali.

The visitors on the other hand will go into this game full of confidence having won their last two games against PKNS and T-Team, scoring three goals in each game.  The 3-0 victory over the Titans in their last game was the largest victory in this year’s Super League, and one which prompted opposition manager Peter Butler to claim that Forces were the best team he’d seen so far this season.

Don’t expect too many changes to be made by manager B. Sathianathan as his team looks to record their third consecutive win.  Captain Hairuddin Omar and defender Faisal Mamat are the main injury doubts, but the spine of the team should remain the same.  Argentine Bruno Martelotto and Vincentian Marlon James will lead the line, while Shukor Adan and Rezal Zambery Yahya, who both netted against T-Team, will again form a strong midfield partnership.

The match will be played at the Larkin Stadium, Johor Bahru, and will kick off at 8:45pm.

  • ATM’s Saint Vincent and the Grenadine striker Marlon Alex James, who netted a remarkable 34 goals last season, is off to a great start already with four goals in his first three Super League matches.
  • No Johor player has scored more than one goal so far this season.

  • Whereas JDT strikers Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Dani Guiza have both hit the back of the net already this season, fellow star striker Safee Sali (pictured) currently remains goalless.

  • ATM currently lead the league in goals scored with six goals in three games thus far, they are joint-top in this category, surprisingly with Pahang.

  • Johor’s have had three players named in the latest national team squad (Aidil Zafuan, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Safee Sali) whereas ATM have had two players included (Amiridzwan Taj and K. Reuben).

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