Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak believes tonight’s AFF Suzuki Cup first leg semi-final match between Malaysia and Thailand will be decided in midfield.
The hosts will be without the injured Shakir Shaari, and in his absence, Datuk K.Rajagopal is expected to start young Gary Steven Robbat in the middle of the park alongside captain Safiq Rahim.
Hodak, who guided the Red Warriors to three titles this season, said that although Thailand appear to be better in this department, Malaysia can get the desired result if they play their cards right.
“Malaysia’s main problem in this match will be in central midfield because Thailand are stronger there,” the Croatian told Goal.com Malaysia.
“I think Malaysia should change their style of play if they want to win this game.
“The two central midfielders are usually two far away from each other when they are defending their flanks.
“If you afford Thailand that much space in there, they’ll win easily.
“Malaysia will be victorious if they can win the midfield battle.”
Hodak also added that the Malayan Tigers must take advantage of playing in front of the huge crowd expected at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil for the titanic clash.
“Malaysia have regained some confidence following the two wins over Laos and Indonesia.
“With the home support the team is going to have, it won’t be difficult to continue the momentum.”