BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Although Malaysia's opponents in their first Asian Cup qualification group match, Lebanon will be without current Malaysia Super League (MSL) top-scorer Mohammed Ghaddar, they should still be wary of the Middle Eastern side, said Felda United head coach Bhaskaran R Sathianathan.
This is because it proves that Lebanon have a big pool of players that can be selected from, he told Harian Metro on Wednesday.
"Although Ghaddar, the current league top-scorer has not been selected for the match, it proves that they have many options and are not dependent on only a few players.
"We know that many of their players are based abroad, so if to us Ghaddar is a good striker here, that means they have even better forwards and we must be absolutely careful," said the former Malaysia boss.
Interestingly, two other Malaysia-based Lebanese players have been called up for the encounter by head coach Miodrag Radulović; Ghaddar's replacement at Kelantan Abou Bakr Al-Mel, and Sathianathan's own charge at Felda; defender Mootaz Jounaidi.
"It may be part of the Lebanon head coach's tactics, as Malaysian players may already be familiar with Ghaddar's capabilities.
"But he still called up Mootaz in defence to stop Malaysia's attack, as he already has experience playing in the country," he posited.
Ghaddar has scored 18 goals in the league this season, and has just completed his move to Malaysian champions JDT last month, from Kelantan. The 33-year old forward had been called up in the Cedars' previous Asian Cup qualification match; against Hong Kong, and scored one goal in the match which finished 2-0.
The match between Malaysia and Lebanon will take place on June 13, at the Tan Sri Hassan Yunos Stadium.