Longhi ready to call on the Fernandos

Fernando Marquez, Johor Darul Ta'zim
Johor Southern Tigers
The Johor Darul Ta'zim head coach is ready to field Fernando Elizari alongside Fernando Marquez as they look to exact revenge on Pahang.

After one top of the table clash last week, it's another one for Johor Darul Ta'zim after Pahang and Perak switched places following results of the last round of matches.

Eight points separate the two teams going into the match but with this being the first of two straight matches between the two teams, a glimmer of hope still remains for The Elephants should they come out on top in both matches.

That is not a scenario which JDT head coach Raul Longhi is willing to entertain as he calls on his players to remain focus in their aim to stay at the top of the perch. The Argentine also feels that the two new recruits in Fernando Marquez and Fernando Elizari have adapted well to the team, and are likely to be fielded tonight.

"There are no suspension and apart from Natxo Insa, I have already fit and ready. That gives me a lot of room to play with my tactics. Even though Marquez and Elizari have only just started training with us, their work rate, determination and ability to pick up on the tactics makes me believe they are ready to face Pahang."

"I also want the locals to put on our usual performance and not the one seen against Perak because that is not how we play. We know Pahang will give us a tough fight as they want to close the gap. We cannot take our position for granted. We have to keep our focus and every player has to be committed and avoid making silly mistakes," said Longhi in a Berita Harian report.

Marquez started and scored against Perak last week but Elizari only arrived the day after that match. If Elizari is to be fielded, that could mean a place on the bench for Hazwan Bakri who has been used in recent matches in the wide right attacking position.

JDT beat Pahang 3-2 in the corresponding fixture last season but had already lost to the same opponent at Tan Sri Dato Hj Hassan Yunos Stadium in the FA Cup after a poor performance that saw them crashing out of the cup competition.