Selangor likely to play with a back four against Perak, says Maniam

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Both Selangor and Perak, who lost their two most recent MSL matches, bounced back with a round two FA Cup win last weekend, and will meet on Sunday.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Selangor are likely to play with a back four in their Malaysia Super League match against Perak on Sunday, said head coach Maniam Pachaiappan.

Maniam has recently been criticised by the Red Giants fans for his overdependence on the 3-4-3 formation, in their back-to-back league defeats to Terengganu and Pahang last month.

Selangor were then spotted playing with a back four in a friendly match against UKM FC last week, with Spanish defensive midfielder Alfonso de la Cruz returning to his natural position.

"(The change) depends on the players I pick on Sunday. Maybe we'll play 4-4-2. My players understand 3-4-3 better, but we'll see.

"It depends on the more senior players who must guide the team," said Maniam when contacted by Goal on Saturday, adding that his team have shown progress playing in the 4-4-2 formation.

On player availability for the match, the former Malaysia international revealed that only two players will be unavailable to face Perak.

"Alex (Azamuddin Akil) is still injured and should be fit in the coming match. 

Azamuddin Akil, Selangor, 12122017

Azamuddin. Photo by Zulhilmi Zainal

"Razman (skipper Razman Roslan) is suspended due to accumulated bookings, and his place will be taken over by Ashmawi [Yakin]," he remarked.

Maniam however declined to say that his side will be travelling to the TLDM Stadium, Lumut with the objective of collecting the three points.

"I don't want to say we're going there to get a win. We want to play our best game and to perform well.

"We want to focus on not conceding goals, while creating a lot of chances at the same time," said the coach.

Both Perak and Selangor were defeated in their two latest league matches, and bounced back with a win in round two of the FA Cup last weekend. They met twice last year, with each club winning the away encounter.