Defending has been JDT’s weakest link so far, and they have been lucky that their forwards were able to score. Until the transfer window reopens in a week’s time and their squad reshuffling gets underway, they are going to have to rely on their current defenders. For tonight’s match they are going to have to trust that Malaysian international Aidil Zafuan is going to be able to shut out the challenges of the Selangor attackers. He was second best to Effa Owona in their previous match - a narrow win over Terengganu - and will have to perform better against the same opponents that demolished them in March.
Former Terengganu import and current Selangor striker Forkey Doe was the cause of consternation to JDT in their previous match, setting up a number of goals and scoring one himself. He has also been scoring regularly in all competitions, and he is probably going to start tonight’s match, despite playing the full 90 minutes in their defeat to Sai Gon last Wednesday.
|SIMONE DEL NERO
Soon-to-depart Del Nero will probably be featured in tonight’s match, and he is set to make it count one last time. His midfield is constantly lacking in both ideas and execution, despite having national team captain Safiq Rahim amidst their ranks, and Del Nero will have to make sure that he departs Johor Bahru on a good note by sending his soon-to-be former team to Shah Alam with a win. K. Soley should be disappointed after losing to Sai Gon earlier, despite the fact that he was a constant source of threat down the right flank. His deliveries of the ball into the penalty box left a lot to be desired, considering that he did well to push up the field with the ball numerous times in the match. He has to forget his average performance on Wednesday, to ensure that tonight he is able to reproduce the same form that served him well when they last beat JDT.
JDT have been undergoing a massive change in the past month. This was accelerated by their massive defeat last month, which coincidentally, was also inflicted by Selangor. It came as a shock when the management decided to part ways with their megastar import signings Daniel Guiza and Simone Del Nero, especially when the both of them had been playing rather well. But the decision has been made nonetheless, and Guiza’s match tonight probably will be his swan song. The only thing for him to do is to perform so well by blowing Selangor away so hard that the management is going to regret agreeing to let him go. It must be also be noted that in their last encounter, Guiza did not start the game and only came in as a substitute after the team were already two goals down.
And in that game, it was rather unanimous that the match was won for Selangor by their right wingback Mahali Jasuli. The 24-year-old ran rings around the defenders, and proved how lethal he can be when he is at his best and most audacious. He will likely start tonight’s match considering that he was only brought on as a substitute in their Wednesday AFC Cup loss to Saigon. He will have to produce a similar showing that overcame JDT earlier, to help Selangor take a comfortable goal deficit to Shah Alam for the return leg.