LionsXII vs Pahang FA Preview: Home side aim to topple league leaders
With two wins in both home games this season so far, V. Sundramoorthy's men will be confident going into their clash with the Malaysian Super League table-toppers
By Teng Kiat and Khalis Rifhan
Irwan - Safuwan - Baihakki - Hafiz
Isa - Zulfahmi
Faris - Shahril (c) - Fazrul
Jalaluddin - Zaiza - Razman
Amirulhadi - Azidan - Hafiz - Gopi
Azamuddin (c) - Borji - Fauzi
After a three-week break due to international matches, the LionsXII return to Malaysian Super League (MSL) action this Saturday night against newly-promoted Pahang FA.
The Malaysian team finished second in the Premier League last season, but are currently top of the MSL table with four wins out of five matches and will be reasonably confident about their chances against the fourth-placed home side.
The LionsXII do have a perfect home record with two wins out of two at the Jalan Besar Stadium so far, although they will be missing the impressive full-back duo of Faritz Hameed (broken collarbone) and Shakir Hamzah (ankle ligament tear) for six weeks and one week respectively.
That should see coach V. Sundramoorthy shift Irwan Shah to take Faritz's place at right-back, while central midfielder Hafiz Sujad fills in on the opposite flank. Zulfahmi Arifin and Faris Ramli are set to come in for their debuts as well, with Shahfiq Ghani spearheading the attack as Fazrul Nawaz is shunted to the left wing.
Influential midfield hardman Hariss Harun has returned to training after a three-month layoff due to a broken fibula sustained during the AFF Suzuki Cup last November, and is likely to play a part from the bench.
As for the visitors, Faizol Hussien has been remarkable in the middle of the pitch with his incisive passing to an attacking trio led by Azamuddin Akil and 24-year-old Fauzi Roslan. The latter has hit seven goals in six games in all competitions for The Elephants this season and will be the main threat.
Where the locals have been impressive, the foreign duo of Macedonian Nikolce Kleckarovski and Moroccan Mohamed Borji, have been utter disappointments in every game they have played so far. Both have been hauled off by coach Dollah Salleh before, and could be the weak links if they see any game time.
The LionsXII do tend to raise their game when they play in front of a packed home crowd, and that might just be enough for them to edge Pahang in what should be a tight game.
The match will kick off at 7.45p.m at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
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Top 3 Predictions
LionsXII 0-8 Pahang FA
- 18.87 %
LionsXII 8-0 Pahang FA
- 15.09 %
LionsXII 2-1 Pahang FA
- 13.21 %
|Malaysia Super League (MSL)||May 17, 2013||Pahang FA 1 - LionsXII 1|
|Malaysia Super League (MSL)||Feb 16, 2013||LionsXII 3 - Pahang FA 0|
|Malaysia Cup (MC)||Oct 2, 2012||LionsXII 2 - Pahang FA 0|
|Malaysia Cup (MC)||Sep 25, 2012||Pahang FA 2 - LionsXII 1|
|Oct 4, 2013||ATM FA 4 - LionsXII 1||MC|
|Sep 28, 2013||LionsXII 1 - ATM FA 0||MC|
|Sep 21, 2013||Kedah FA 1 - LionsXII 3||MC|
|Sep 18, 2013||LionsXII 1 - Sarawak FA 0||MC|
|Aug 31, 2013||LionsXII 2 - Perak FA 1||MC|
|8||Hafiz Abu Sujad||Midfielder|
|4||I. Abdul Halim||Midfielder|
|7||Gabriel Quak Jun Yi||Midfielder|
|23||Mohd Nasril bin Mat Nourdin||Goalkeeper|
|13||Mohd Razman Bin Roslan||Defender|
|2||Jalalludin bin Abu Jaafar||Defender|
|3||Mohd Saiful Nizam bin Miswan||Defender|
|20||Mohd Shahrizan bin Mohd Salleh||Midfielder|
|11||Mohd Faizol bin Hussien||Midfielder|
|12||Azammuddin bin Mohd Akil||Striker|
|22||Mohd Rosfaizul Azuar bin Ali||Goalkeeper|
|18||Muhammad Syawal bin Norsam||Defender|
|17||Mohd Zaiza bin Zainal Abidin||Defender|
|10||Abdul Malik bin Mat Ariff||Midfielder|
|15||Mohd Hazuan bin Mohd Daud||Midfielder|