Amirizwan did not play too well when he featured in the Malaysia national team’s 2-0 defeat to Palestine in last night’s charity match. He conceded a last minute penalty kick which was kept out by the goalkeeper. However, he should still be B. Sathianathan’s top pick, considering that he has had more match time for the national team compared to his teammates whose competitive footballing activities ceased, in the last two weeks. In addition to this, ATM are also without their veteran defender Shukor Adan who is facing a two-match suspension. Amirizwan Taj has to put his mediocre performance for the national team behind and help the Gladiators maintain their distance with Selangor and LionsXII in the league.
Kelantan’s veteran striker Indra Putra has to rely on his massive experience to penetrate the ATM defence, and the battle on this end of this pitch will most likely be decided by how well Indra utilises his experience. Even when he does not get on the score sheet, he is equally dangerous with his passes and deliveries, and Amirizwan will face a stern challenge trying to contain him.
The two teams favour attacking from different parts of the pitch. ATM prefer to attack down the flanks, especially with Martelotto whizzing down the right and trying to cut back inside in the penalty box.
Kelantan prefer battering the defence through the middle, and this could not be achieved without the team’s engine and captain Badhri Razi in the midfield. His performance for Kelantan is phenomenal and his snub by the national team confounding. Even more so, he scores quite frequently, with his most recent being in their win against PKNS, and ATM will have to subdue him to stop Kelantan.
The Vincentian forward is the league’s top scorer at the moment, and after taking a break for two weeks his team will hope that he is well-rested, and will again rely on his service to wreak havoc in the Kelantan defence.
Nwaneri however has not been performing too well at the moment, especially after having conceded a penalty in their win against PKNS FC on Tuesday, despite scoring one himself at the other end. However, he is the Red Warriors’ squad member with the most impressive physique, so he is probably going to start the match, and is expected to stonewall Marlon from getting on the scoresheet.