After a two week international break, the Malaysian Super League is back. Current league leaders LionsXII will face Sabah FA at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.With most of the LionsXII team involved in the two-legged friendly against Malaysia, coach V Sundramoorthy felt that the international experience would benefit the squad ahead of this game.
"Practice at international level is always good," he told Goal.com Singapore.
"It gives the players very good exposure."
Having only a six-point lead despite having played five more games than Kelantan, the coach projects a very realist view about their league chances, and looks to focus on finishing second.
"Our chances on finishing second are good," he said.
"Mathematically, we need at least seven more points on the board, which works out to two home wins and an away draw.
"That's what I'm working towards, and that's what the team's working towards."
The team will look to notch the first of those two wins against Sabah.
Khairul Nizam and captain Shahril Ishak are still out injured, while defensive stalwart Safuwan Baharudin will be unavailable for this fixture due to a suspension.
The coach will be hoping for Agu Casmir to continue his form against the East Malaysian teams.
The Nigerian-born striker bagged a brace in his last game against Sarawak, and will be looking to add more to his tally before the season ends. Sufian Anuar and Khairul Amri, both of whom have shaken off injury concerns, will look to make an impact off the bench.
Playmaker Shahdan Sulaiman is also one to watch, having had a good game in the home leg of the Causeway Challenge. His quality in deadball situations may prove to be crucial for the Singaporean team.
Sabah come into this game in poor form, having only managed one win and a draw in their last five games.
Despite this, they may look to emulate Kuala Lumpur's determined defence that managed to hang on grimly to a scoreless draw. However, with the LionsXII playing in their own den at Jalan Besar, it looks to be an uphill battle for the Borneo side.