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Ahead of the monumental clash between Kelantan and Pahang, Goal Malaysia takes an exclusive look at key battles that could determine the outcome of the match


GOALBY    KEESHAANAN SUNDARESAN     Follow on Twitter


OBINNA NWANERI VS DICKSON NWAKAEME
 

Pahang's hero last week was none other than Matias Conti, who fired two goals as they annihilated ATM by a score line of 4-1. The one standout element about Dickson is his physical presence, which defenders struggle to deal with. But against Kelantan, he will be up against the towering Obinna Nwaneri, a fellow Nigerian who knows all about Dickson as well. Pahang should start with Dickson again, and with supplies coming in from Gopinathan and Alex, Obinna will be needed to win the aerial battle as well. If that happens, then it should be relatively easier for Kelantan. But if Dickson does get his way, then things could get out of hand for the home side.


BADHRI RADZI
VS HAFIZ KAMAL
 

When Piya came on a substitute against South China, the crowd roared in excitement. His importance to the team is unquestionable, and in fact, Kelantan did do better after his introduction in the AFC Cup clash in midweek. Against a side like Pahang, I would expect Darby to hand Piya the captain's armband from the beginning, especially considering the fact that Pahang themselves have a relatively solid midfielder in the form of Hafiz Kamal. We all know what Piya is capable of when given space on the ball, and Hafiz is an expert when it comes to relentlessly closing down opposition players. This particular battle could very well determine the outcome of what should be an exciting midfield war.

FORKEY DOE
VS DAMION STEWART
 

Yet again, I expect to see Darby utilizing Forkey Doe to spearhead their attack and it will be down to Damion Stewart to stop him. The Liberian forward wasn't at his best against South China in midweek, but that was all probably due to fatigue. His performance against LionsXII was stellar and his injury time winner was the spark that gifted Kelantan three points on that day. Like it or not, the Red Warriors have been a bit dependant on him for goals this season, and if Damion Stewart can nullify his threat, that takes a huge burden of Pahang's shoulders.

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