Selangor FA vs LionsXII Preview: Testing away trip for leaders
The Singapore side will be boosted by the return of their first-choice central defensive partnership as they prepare to take on their third-placed opponents
|By Khalis Rifhan
Mahali - Nazriq - Griffiths - Asraruddin (C)
K.Soley - Veenod - Fitri - S.Kunanlan
Ramzul - Amri
Faritz - Baihakki - Safuwan - Shakir
Isa Halim - Aqhari
Gabriel - Hariss - Hafiz
Malaysian Super League (MSL) leaders LionsXII will travel to Shah Alam to face off with third-placed Selangor FA on Saturday, with both sides plagued with suspensions and injuries for the match.
The visitors will be without the services of striker Fazrul Nawaz, who is forced to sit out for one match after picking up his third yellow card of the season against ATM FA a week ago at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Mid-season signing Fazli Ayob is still nursing a hamstring injury, while midfielder Zulfahmi Arifin and striker Shahfiq Ghani, who scored a brace against ATM, are also spending time at the treatment table, with the latter out for six weeks after fracturing a metatarsal in his right foot.
With Shahfiq out, coach V. Sundramoorthy looks set to push captain Shahril Ishak into the final third as the lone striker and slot Hariss Harun in behind him. The flying pair of Nazrul Nazari and Faris Ramli will be unavailable due to National Service commitments, with Hafiz Sujad and Gabriel Quak likely to replace them on the wings.
But against a side like the Red Giants, Sundram will surely be eager to dominate the midfield and keep it compact in that area, as the hosts are known for their direct route-one football through the centre.
The away side will at least be boosted by the return of first-choice centrebacks Safuwan Baharudin and Baihakki Khaizan from suspension, with Aqhari Abdullah set for his first start beside hardman Isa Halim in front of them.
Opposing coach Irfan Bakti will also be forced to tinker with his starting line-up after the Football Association of Malaysia on Thursday meted out a one-match suspension and RM1,000 fine to striker Afiq Azmi for violent conduct, while midfielder Abdul Shukor Jusoh was banned for two games and fined RM2,000 for not adhering to the match official's instructions in their FA Cup first-round match against ATM on January 25.
There will be changes in their foreign player ranks as well with defender Peter Chrappan having been deregistered for the MSL - he will play only in the AFC Cup - following the arrival of former Australia international Adam Griffiths from A-League side Sydney FC.
The Red Giants will be without Liberian striker Francis Forkey Doe, and coach Irfan is expected to start with former Kelantan FA player Ramzul Zahini alongside Malaysian international Amri Yahyah.
The LionsXII have a patchy away record, only managing to chalk up six points out of a possible 18 so far away from home; their last away outing against bottom side Negeri Sembilan ended in a 1-1 draw.
Although Selangor were also held to a draw by Negeri a week ago, Shah Alam has remained a fortress for them, where they are unbeaten with five wins and one draw on home soil.
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Top 3 Predictions
Selangor FA 2-0 LionsXII
- 16.28 %
Selangor FA 1-2 LionsXII
- 13.95 %
Selangor FA 0-2 LionsXII
- 9.3 %
|Malaysia Super League (MSL)||Apr 27, 2013||Selangor FA 0 - LionsXII 0|
|Malaysia Super League (MSL)||Jan 12, 2013||LionsXII 1 - Selangor FA 0|
|Malaysia Super League (MSL)||Mar 20, 2012||LionsXII 1 - Selangor FA 1|
|Malaysia Super League (MSL)||Feb 8, 2012||Selangor FA 1 - LionsXII 1|
|Sep 21, 2013||Selangor FA 2 - Johor FA 1||MC|
|Sep 17, 2013||ATM FA 1 - Selangor FA 1||MC|
|Aug 31, 2013||Selangor FA 1 - Sime Darby FC 1||MC|
|Aug 27, 2013||Sime Darby FC 3 - Selangor FA 0||MC|
|Aug 24, 2013||Selangor FA 2 - ATM FA 3||MC|
|21||Norazlan bin Razali||Goalkeeper|
|9||Solehin Kanasian Abdullah||Midfielder|
|3||Mohd Fairuz bin Abdul Aziz||Defender|
|7||Adib Aizuddin bin Abdul Latif||Defender|
|13||M. Raimi Mohd Nor||Midfielder|
|24||Mohd Fitri Shazwan bin Raduwan||Midfielder|
|22||Muhammad Ramzul Zahini bin Adenan||Midfielder|
|2||V. Kavi Chelvan||Midfielder|
|8||Hafiz Abu Sujad||Midfielder|
|9||F. Abdul Hameed||Midfielder|
|4||I. Abdul Halim||Midfielder|
|7||Gabriel Quak Jun Yi||Midfielder|