Having beaten the same opponents away in Selayang a week ago, the defending Malaysia Super League champions will be keen to do likewise back at homeHaving faced off just a week ago, the LionsXII and Sime Darby FC will clash again when they meet at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday evening.
The defending Malaysia Super League champions came away from Selayang then with a 2-0 victory and another three points will do just fine for Fandi Ahmad's men, as they look to climb up the table.
The LionsXII have now won three of their last four matches and drawn the remaining one, a run that has seen them surge to fourth. At the halfway point of the league, they are now only four points behind leaders Pahang FA and another win on Saturday will greatly help them push on towards the top.
The form of captain Safuwan Baharudin has been instrumental of late, with the centre-back striking for the third successive game against Sime Darby for the opening goal. Composed in defence and a threat upfront, the 22-year-old is a vital player for the LionsXII.
Another key man is striker Khairul Amri, who ended a four-game goal drought by scoring the second goal to ease the nerves. Often tasked to lead the line on his own, Amri's hard work often goes unnoticed but the 29-year-old's hold-up play and predatory instincts are crucial to the Fandi's gameplan.
Playmaker Zulfahmi Arifin should be in contention for a starting berth after missing the last game due to suspension, while Fandi will have to decide whether to retain Madhu Mohana over Afiq Yunos at the back.
The visitors will be looking to give a better account of themselves than they did back home and coach Ismail Zakaria will be boosted by the return of Uzbek attacker Dilshod Sharofetdinov from suspension. Likewise, striker Fahrul Razi Kamaruddin and defender K. Prabakaran will be welcomed back while new import forward Mateo Roskam is expected to make his debut.
Sime Darby did show that they had the ability to trouble the LionsXII, who had goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud to thank for a few blinding saves. It will not be an easy ride for the hosts, who have shown that they have trouble killing games off this season.