Bahrain hosts Malaysia in the 2015 Asian Cup qualifier and a win would see them seal a place in the finals in Australia next year.
Al Hayam - Marzooqi - Abdulhameed - Omar
Salman Isa - Abdulwahab - Dhiya - Faouzi Aaish
Al Taib - Husain Ali
Reuben - Fadhli - Asra - Fitri
Norshahrul - Nazmi - Gurusamy - Nazrin
Azamuddin - Fakri
Bahrain and Malaysia are set to clash at the Bahrain National Stadium in Riffa for the fourth round of the 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers.
These two teams played out to a 1-1 draw when they met last month at the Shah Alam Stadium, with the Malayan Tigers coming from behind to cancel out Abdulla Saleh’s first-half opener via Norshahrul Idlan Talaha.
As its stands in Group D, Bahrain look like favourites to win this tie because, with a victory, they can already confirm qualification to the finals in Australia.
Malaysia on the other hand, don’t necessarily need all three points in this round to stay in contention for a spot in the finals.
A loss would see K. Rajagopal’s men still butting heads with Qatar for second place but surely the 57-year-old will want nothing less than win.
With this game possibly his last with Malaysia, King Raja will be without key players in Wan Zack Haikal and Junior Eldstal who are both out with injuries.
Further setbacks include injuries to Aidil Zafuan, Amiridzwan Taj, S. Kunanlan and Safiq Rahim.
Norshahrul will be the only boost for the Malayan Tigers in attack as the other players have been performing under par, based on last week’s 3-0 loss to Kuwait.
However, the Black and Yellow know that they can score against Bahrain but that was only after conceding late in the first half.
If at all Malaysia were to win on Friday night, a very strong defence will be key in what would be a compelling victory for the Tigers.
Bahrain come off a morale-boosting 1-0 win over Lebanon and look in good form to seal their qualification with two games left to play.
Faouzi Aaish is their man to watch as he has netted twice in three games for his country in the campaign so far.
The young lad is a winger and he is known for his pace and his knack at finding the back of the net.
Another man that could win the game for the Al-Ahmars would be veteran Salman Isa.
At 28, the experienced full-back has been very consistent and his hardworking and tireless displays on the wing will be very difficult for the Malaysian defenders to handle.
From the way both teams line up before the game, Bahrain have the slight edge over the Malaysian outfit, but if the Malayan Tigers can finally click upfront, we could have an exciting game on our hands.