Before Selangor take on league leaders, Johor Darul Takzim, Goal.com filters out three key battles that will take place on Saturday night in Shah Alam.
Although his aim of scoring 50 goals for Darul Takzim is starting to escape his reach, Guiza is nonetheless still finding the net. Considering the fact that most of Darul Takzim’s wins this season have been with a narrow margin, Guiza is definitely a pivotal member of the team, as he proved in their FA Cup win against Kedah last week by scoring a brace.
But he would do well not to underestimate the challenges that will be mounted by Selangor goalkeeper Norazlan Razali. The 27-year-old has been consistently exceptional, and the mediocre results from their last four games could have been worse, if not for Norazlan’s heroics in keeping the ball out. Norazlan is definitely going into the game wanting to produce another fine performance, and what better way for him to do it, than stopping the Euro 2008 winner?
Former Selangor star Safiq Rahim is going to lead Darul Takzim’s midfield at his former stomping ground, and fans can expect to see two contrasting styles of play between these two teams. Safiq and co. are going to push up fast through the middle to put the Selangor's defence in disarray, whereas Shukor Jusoh is going to orchestrate more cautiously, languid even, while building attacks that involve both the midfield and defence, before piling on the pressure in the final third with a cross from either one of their wingbacks.
Although Safiq Rahim is most definitely going to provide all the inside information that he has learnt about Selangor to the Darul Takzim coaching staff in their preparation for the game, it must be noted that Shukor Jusoh has only joined Selangor this season from Terengganu, and he may spring a few surprises to disrupt their battle plan.
Selangor’s dismal performance since their 2-0 win against Kelantan can be partly chalked up to one reason; their strikers’ goal dearth. Although they started brightly in the first few matches, their last four matches saw them unable to find the net. However, Amri Yahyah was not completely toothless in their previous match against T-Team, holding and passing the ball well to his teammates during attacks, and he might just decide to break his duck in what will surely be a hotly-contested match between the two teams.
Darul Takzim’s defence has not been completely effective, as proven by the fact that they have succeeded in keeping a clean sheet in only four matches in all competitions this season. Their coach, Fandi Ahmad, prefers to employ squad-rotation, and Malaysia international Muslim Ahmad is expected to be featured in Saturday’s match after being rested in their last outing. He will have to shore up the defence against the misfiring Selangor forwards.
All in all, the battle at this end of the pitch will most probably be decided by the side that commits the least errors, and not the side that is the more brilliant.