The Goal Singapore team discuss the Singapore side's chances against their historical Malaysian rivals
The LionsXII will finally host their first game of the season at the Jalan Besar fortress, the place where the team has been unbeated for 18 months. Their home form was key to them winning the title last season, and if they want to stand any chance of retaining the MSL trophy or reach Fandi's target of finishing in the top three, they have the get a result on Saturday. This being the first league home game, a positive result would really set the tone for the season and can very well kick-start their MSL campaign. Of course this is easier said than done, as Selangor have a wide array of attacking talent within the team, including the likes of Paulo Rangel, Andik Vermansyah and Thamil Arasu. The LionsXII defence look set to have a busy night, and they will have to find the right balance between defending and attacking to get anything out of the game.
|Prediction: 1-1. The LionsXII should extend their unbeaten home record, but Selangor will not make it easy for them.
It's a return to the Jalan Besar fortress they made impregnable last season for the LionsXII, as they stormed to the Malaysian Super League title. But they have a new team and new coach for this season and the question is: is Fandi the right man? So far, there has been a markedly different approach by the Singapore legend - the team has adopted a decidedly more offensive outlook, no matter what anyone says. They could have scored more than three against DRB-Hicom and arguably deserved a draw against Pahang. Against Selangor, who are one of the title favorites, it will not be easy. Paulo Rangel is a beast and he will be ably supported by Andik Vermansyah, Juninho and S. Kunalan. Safuwan Baharudin's return will be key and while it will be tough, I can foresee home support tipping this in favour of the hosts.
|Prediction: 2-1. A late winning goal to mark Fandi's first win at Jalan Besar and take the roof off the stadium.
The LionsXII's main concern this year was always going to be goals. Second on the list would be injuries. Combined that together and Fandi would have a massive problem on his hands. The good news is Sufian Annuar is back in scoring mood and he was unlucky not to get more than one on Tuesday night in the FA Cup. He wasn't alone however. That's not a luxury they can afford on Saturday. If the LionsXII want to stand any chance of claiming three crucial points against Selangor they need to get on the scoresheet and they need to do so as early as possible. There's no doubt Fandi would opt for an attacking lineup and with the precious unbeaten home record on the line that would be quite a gamble, given that this is still a team that's largely work in progress. Putting all faith in Afiq and Safuwan in the backline, and hoping Firdaus keeps his tackles in check, the Lions could come away with a win.
|Prediction:2-0. Sufian to be crucial in attack for LionsXII