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3 vs 1
April 20, 2013 7:45 PM SGT
Jalan Besar Stadium — Singapore
Referee:‬ Samsudin Ibrahim‎
45+3′ (PG) Shahril Ishak

LionsXII vs ATM FA Preview: Defensive crisis for Sundram's men

The Malaysian Super League table-toppers will be forced to reshuffle their back-line due to injuries and suspensions, as they seek to maintain their perfect home record

By Khalis Rifhan

LionsXII, huddle, MSL


Faritz - Hariss - Shakir - Irwan

Isa Halim - Hafiz
Fazrul - Shahril (C) - Faris

Reuben - Taj - Irwan - Shazuan
Christie - Martelotto - Affizie - Elphi
Hai.O (C) - Marlon

Reaching the peak of the table may be met with difficulties along the way, but staying put at the summit is more than just a gargantuan challenge - one that requires the discipline and mental strength of every single player in the squad.

That is the predicament the LionsXII find themselves in right now. A week ago, their four-point lead at the top of the table was reduced to two after an uninspiring draw against bottom-of-table Negeri Sembilan at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi, Seremban.

LionsXII coach V. Sundramoorthy has to dig deep into his reserves as he will be forced to tinker with his starting lineup against the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), due to several players being unavailable for selection.

Key central defender Safuwan Baharudin is serving a one-match ban after picking up his third yellow card of the season, while his regular partner Baihakki Khaizan is serving the second of a two-match suspension after collecting a sixth yellow card during the home match against Negeri Sembilan.

In the centre of the field, Zulfahmi Arifin will be out of action for several weeks after meeting with a motorcycle accident on Monday evening. To add to their woes, Hariss Harun is doubtful for this clash as well after suffering an ankle injury on Friday.

The midfielder was set to slot in at centreback alongside Shakir Hamzah in a makeshift pairing, but if he is not fit to play, regular right-back Faritz Hameed should fill in the void.

The visitors will come into the game buoyed with confidence after registering a morale-boosting victory over defending Malaysian Super League champions Kelantan in Kota Bharu, ending the Red Warriors' 42-match unbeaten run on home ground - a streak that stretched back to May 25, 2011.

Of course, the home side have their own perfect record to defend at the Jalan Besar Stadium, having won all six of their league games there so far. Second-placed Johor Darul Takzim overtook them with a 1-0 win over Pahang FA on Friday, and the LionsXII will be keen to reclaim top spot with victory in this game.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Malaysia Super League ‎(MSL)‎ Feb 15, 2014 ATM FA 1 - LionsXII 2
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Malaysia Cup ‎(MC)‎ Oct 4, 2013 ATM FA 4 - LionsXII 1
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Malaysia Cup ‎(MC)‎ Sep 28, 2013 LionsXII 1 - ATM FA 0
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Malaysia Super League ‎(MSL)‎ Apr 20, 2013 LionsXII 3 - ATM FA 1
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Malaysia Super League ‎(MSL)‎ Jan 9, 2013 ATM FA 0 - LionsXII 1
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Izwan MahbudGoalkeeper
19Irwan ShahDefender
14Hariss HarunMidfielder
2Shakir HamzahDefender
9Faritz HameedDefender
11Nazrul NazariMidfielder
4Isa HalimMidfielder
17Shahril IshakMidfielder
11Izzdin ShafiqMidfielder
17Faris RamliMidfielder
26Shahfiq GhaniStriker
18Khairulhin KhalidGoalkeeper
6Madhu MohanaDefender
13Faris AzienuddinDefender
7Gabriel QuakMidfielder
13Aqhari AbdullahMidfielder
8Hafiz SujadMidfielder
12Fazrul NawazStriker
Probable Lineups
Izwan Mahbud 1
Irwan Shah 19
Hariss Harun 14
Shakir Hamzah 2
Faritz Hameed 9
Nazrul Nazari 11
Isa Halim 4
Shahril Ishak 17
Izzdin Shafiq 11
Faris Ramli 17
Shahfiq Ghani 26
Mohd Farizal bin Harun 0
Irwan Fadzli Idrus 21
Safwan Hashim 27
Amirizwan Taj bin Tajudin 0
K. Reuben 2
D. Christie Jayaselan 19
Muhammad Shukor bin Adan 0
Bruno Sebastián Martelotto 10
Rezal Zambery Yahya 23
Marlon Alex James 9
Hairuddin bin Omar 20
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Paulo Rangel Paulo Rangel
11 2
Luciano Figueroa Luciano Figueroa
Darul Takzim
7 0
Juan Arostegui Juan Arostegui
5 0
Khairul Amri Khairul Amri
5 0
Matías Conti Matías Conti
5 0