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  • January 28, 2014
  • • 20:45
  • • Tan Sri Dato' Hj Hassan Yunos Stadium, Johor Bahru
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Tough test for LionsXII as Fandi returns to JDT

Tough test for LionsXII as Fandi returns to JDT

FAS

The Singapore legend, who resigned from the Southern Tigers last season, knows his side faces a tough task to make it two wins in a row at Larkin

It was almost inevitable. When Khairul Amri headed in a last-gasp winner for the LionsXII on Saturday against Selangor FA, it gave Fandi Ahmad his first home win in the most dramatic of fashion.

Against one of the title favourites, a draw would have been an acceptable result at the Jalan Besar Stadium. But the victory, and the manner in which it was secured, would have given the defending Malaysia Super League (MSL) champions a huge morale boost. In addition, it ensured their 18-month long unbeaten home record stayed intact.

Now, the LionsXII have to take on Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) on Tuesday in yet another big clash away from their Jalan Besar fortress.

While the noveau-riche Southern Tigers went down to a shock 1-0 away loss against T-Team in their last game, they will surely prove a different force at home with their strong support.

Fandi praised the resilience of his charges and will hope that they once again display the character and courage shown in the win over the Red Giants, as they seek to upset the apple cart against his former side.

The Singapore legend took charge of JDT last season but only managed to finish third in the league, while they also lost out in the FA Cup final. After being demoted as head coach to team manager, he called it quits in August. But the 51-year-old is aware of JDT's strength, naming them as the best team on paper.

Safuwan Baharudin and Afiq Yunos will have to continue their top form at the back to shut out Luciano Figueroa and Amri Yahyah. In midfield, Isa Halim and Zulfahmi Arifin need to keep tight tabs on former Argentina international Pablo Aimar and Malaysia star Safiq Rahim. Upfront, Sufian Anuar and Khairul Amri will hope to get the better of former LionsXII defender Baihakki Khaizan.

Both meetings between the two teams ended all square last season, with a 2-2 draw in Larkin and a 1-1 share of the spoils at Jalan Besar - the latter result being the only time the LionsXII dropped points at home.

The LionsXII are very much the underdogs, as Fandi admits they will be on most occasions this season thanks to their brand new young team.

But their youth also lends them an exuberance and energy, along with a strong never-say-die spirit, and one will not count against them pulling off a result at the Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium.

Note: The summary had erroneously stated 'sacked' instead of 'resigned', we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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-Norazlan RazaliGoalkeeper
12 Nurul Azwan RoyaMidfielder
28Baihakki KhaizanDefender
7Aidil Zafuan RadzakDefender
18Mahali JasuliDefender
17Amri YahyahStriker
8Safiq RahimMidfielder
16Pablo AimarMidfielder
16Shakir ShaariMidfielder
33Fazly MazlanMidfielder
19Luciano FigueroaStriker
13Amirulhadi ZainalMidfielder
9Norshahrul Idlan TalahaMidfielder
1Izwan MahbudGoalkeeper
2Shakir HamzahDefender
21Safuwan BaharudinDefender
3Afiq YunosDefender
9Faritz HameedDefender
8Hafiz SujadMidfielder
23Zulfahmi ArifinMidfielder
4Isa HalimMidfielder
17Faris RamliMidfielder
19Khairul AmriStriker
15Sufian AnuarStriker
6Madhu MohanaDefender
11Nazrul NazariMidfielder
13Aqhari AbdullahMidfielder
16Raihan RahmanMidfielder
24Firdaus KasmanMidfielder
26Shahfiq GhaniStriker
18Abdul QadirGoalkeeper

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