Fandi Ahmad's charges are looking to build on a morale-boosting victory over league leaders Pahang FA as they seek to end their hosts' unbeaten streak at home this season
Not many fancied the LionsXII's chances when Malaysia Super League leaders Pahang FA came calling on Tuesday at the Jalan Besar Stadium, with the reigning champions having put in disappointing displays in their previous two matches at home.
But the hosts defied the critics and put in a splendid performance as they emerged victorious in a 4-1 rout, with super-sub Sufian Anuar stealing the headlines with a fantastic hat-trick after coming on in the second half.
Now, after the league leaders' visit, the LionsXII face yet another daunting task as they prepare to take on second-placed Selangor FA on Saturday.
The Red Giants are unbeaten at home so far, having won four of their five matches at Shah Alam, and will not be easy opponents. With four victories and three draws, they are also undefeated in their last seven league games, a streak that has propelled them to within one point of table-topping Pahang - with one game in hand as well.
There is one key dangerman the LionsXII have to watch out for and that is Brazilian ace Paulo Rangel, who has accounted for an astonishing 11 of his team's league goals and has already struck 15 times in total this season in all competitions. If Safuwan Baharudin and company can keep the 29-year-old striker quiet, then half the battle will have been won.
Fandi will have a decision to make regarding his own offense after Sufian's heroics, although it seems likely that he will persist with Khairul Amri as the lone striker. In Safuwan, he has another veritable goal threat as well, with the LionsXII captain taking his tally to four for the season against Pahang and putting in an assured showing after being pushed up to midfield midway through the first half.
Victory for the Singapore side will see them draw level on points with Selangor, which would mean their first away win in the league over them as well since they joined in 2012.