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Malaysia will look to end their campaign with the bronze medal.

Key Battles: Malaysia U-23 vs Singapore U-23

Malaysia will look to end their campaign with the bronze medal.

Izzat Akmal

After the heartbreaking penalty shoot out loss to Indonesia, Malaysia will face Singapore, in what is a repeat of an earlier group match. Goal looks at the potential key battles.

Shahrul is one player who has grown as this competition progressed. The nervousness seemed to have abandoned him and his past few displays has been very reassuring. As Shahrul likes to attack the ball and normally playing higher than Fadhli Shas, he is expected to pick up Shahfiq. The mercurial left footer, Shahfiq has a good shot on him and Shahrul would be mindful of not letting Shafiq have a sight on goal, Shahrul should also beware not to concede needless fouls close to the penalty area as Shafiq is a known reputable free kick taker.

Another player who didn't start in the semifinal defeat, Nazmi is set to be unleashed in this final match of the competition for Malaysia. The team has missed his creativity and probing runs forward, as we looked bereft of ideas without him on the pitch. Nazmi puts himself in useful positions and hardly ever static in his game and that could spell trouble for Hariss, the Singaporean captain. In Hariss, Singapore has a midfielder who can dominate the middle of the park for his team. Whoever comes out top in this battle is likely to decide this tie.

With Ong Kim Swee alternating his main striker in every match, it looks likely that Rozaimi will take to the field ahead of Hazwan Bakri for this 3rd placing play-off. He hasn't look sharp in his last two appearances for the Young Tigers and will be looking to redeemed himself in this match. Up against him would be Safuwan, who has plenty of knowledge of Malaysian strikers, having played for Lions XII in the M-League. Safuwan is an uncompromising centre back who reads the game very well. Unless Rozaimi plays out of his skin and tries something different, the Singaporean defender is likely to come out top in this battle.

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