LionsXII vs Pahang FA Preview: Home side aim to topple league leaders

With two wins in both home games this season so far, V. Sundramoorthy's men will be confident going into their clash with the Malaysian Super League table-toppers

Irwan - Safuwan - Baihakki - Hafiz
Isa - Zulfahmi
Faris - Shahril (c) - Fazrul


Jalaluddin - Zaiza - Razman
Amirulhadi - Azidan - Hafiz - Gopi
Azamuddin (c)
- Borji - Fauzi

After a three-week break due to international matches, the LionsXII return to Malaysian Super League (MSL) action this Saturday night against newly-promoted Pahang FA.

The Malaysian team finished second in the Premier League last season, but are currently top of the MSL table with four wins out of five matches and will be reasonably confident about their chances against the fourth-placed home side.

The LionsXII do have a perfect home record with two wins out of two at the Jalan Besar Stadium so far, although they will be missing the impressive full-back duo of Faritz Hameed (broken collarbone) and Shakir Hamzah (ankle ligament tear) for six weeks and one week respectively.

That should see coach V. Sundramoorthy shift Irwan Shah to take Faritz's place at right-back, while central midfielder Hafiz Sujad fills in on the opposite flank. Zulfahmi Arifin and Faris Ramli are set to come in for their debuts as well, with Shahfiq Ghani spearheading the attack as Fazrul Nawaz is shunted to the left wing.

Influential midfield hardman Hariss Harun has returned to training after a three-month layoff due to a broken fibula sustained during the AFF Suzuki Cup last November, and is likely to play a part from the bench.

As for the visitors, Faizol Hussien has been remarkable in the middle of the pitch with his incisive passing to an attacking trio led by Azamuddin Akil and 24-year-old Fauzi Roslan. The latter has hit seven goals in six games in all competitions for The Elephants this season and will be the main threat.

Where the locals have been impressive, the foreign duo of Macedonian Nikolce Kleckarovski and Moroccan Mohamed Borji, have been utter disappointments in every game they have played so far. Both have been hauled off by coach Dollah Salleh before, and could be the weak links if they see any game time.

The LionsXII do tend to raise their game when they play in front of a packed home crowd, and that might just be enough for them to edge Pahang in what should be a tight game.

The match will kick off at 7.45p.m at the Jalan Besar Stadium.