Pahang - Negeri Sembilan Preview: The Group of Death's battle for top spot

Dollah Salleh’s boys look to retain the top spot in the Malaysia Cup's Group of Death by taming the Deers who have been in great form as of late

Jalalludin(c) - Stewart - Razman - Shahrizan
Alex - Amirul Hadi - Hafiz - Gopinathan
Matias - Fauzi

Fauzi - Modibo - Fadhil - Qayyum
Shahurain -  Eddy - Sivanesan - Nazrin

It is called the Group of Death for a reason; all four teams in the group are still in the race to find themselves in the quarterfinals. Negeri Sembilan can take the advantage if they manage to sink Pahang in this match, but surely, it won't be an easy game at the Darul Makmur Stadium.

On paper, Pahang seem to have this game in the bag, but they have to realise that Negeri stunned Kelantan in Kota Bharu before. That is something which head coach, Dollah Salleh will have to bring to the drawing board in preparation of the Round 5 fixture.

With the home team boasting a clean bill of health, the Tok Gajah will most like go with their usual style. Amirul Hadi and Hafiz Kamal will surely be starters marshalling the midfield. With the support of R. Gopinathan and Azamuddin Akil on the flanks, Pahang wil be banking on the wings to supplement their attack.

Not to mention, Matias Conti upfront with his amazing finishing techniques, the Jangs should jot down a few tricks to stop the Brazilian.

The travelling Negeri Sembilan on the other hand, seem to be in a very good mood to seal their spot in the next round with this tie. After they made a wonderful comeback against Kelantan before, Ridzuan Abu Shah's men will not underestimate their opponents despite leding the group with seven points, two ahead of Pahang and Terengganu.

The Deers were initially labelled as the underdogs, filling up the last spot in this group, but it didn't take them very long to assert their authority.

Negeri Sembilan's strike force led by Fabio Barbossa, already proved to be among the lethal attackers in the competition having scored the highest number of goals in Group C, netting a total of nine times. With the return of Norhafiz Zamani at the back and Shahurain Abu Samah to combine with the star-in-the-making, Nazrin Nawi in the centre, Negeri seem to have quite a solid squad ahead of the Pahang clash.

Although the Deers' two goalkeepers are still doubtful, Ridzuan has nothing to worry about seeing that his third choice in Kaharuddin Rahman already made a huge impact in the match against Kelantan.

This match will be vital in determining who grabs the quarterfinal spots in the group.

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