Johor Darul Takzim vs LionsXII: Key Battles

Before the big causeway derby between Johor Darul Takzim and the LionsXII, picks out three key battles that will take place on Tuesday in Larkin
By Keeshanan Sundaresan


This is going to be an intriguing battle, not only for Baihakki, but also for Guiza.

The Singaporean defender is regarded as one of South-east Asia's finest but he will need to be on top form to handle Guiza on Tuesday.

The ex-Getafe man has already caught the eye of Malaysia with his sublime style of play, often sitting in the hole behind either Safee or Norshahrul, influencing the game with his languid approach.

His goals have also been world class and Guiza will be a key man for Johor DT again when they face LionsXII.


This particular match will be won in midfield and the battle between Isa Halim and Safiq Rahim will be pivotal.

We all know that Safiq likes to stay rooted in the middle of the park and provide those long balls for Johor's offensive line to pounce on.

But Isa Halim is one of LionsXII's rocks in midfield as he often sits deep and acts as a protective membrane for their defence.

The 26-year-old was in fine form against Pahang last Saturday and he will be expected to do the same by shackling and stopping Safiq from influencing the game.

This is one battle that could change the outcome of the game as a whole.


While Johor Darul Takzim have undoubtedly been attracting a lot of attention for their expensive acquisitions, Ezrie Shafizie is one of those that has been retained from last season's Johor FC squad.

The midfielder has been an integral part of their starting line up this season, often disrupting any attack  from the opposition.

But he will have a delicate task on Tuesday as he comes up against Shahril Ishak.

The LionsXII skipper is a already household name in Malaysian football. When he sits in the hole behind the main forward and dictates proceedings, he is a joy to watch.

Shahril was impressive against Pahang the last time out, and Ezrie will have to be at his best to stop the playmaker.