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PREVIEW: High-flying Negeri may just surprise stuttering Selangor

5:47 AM WAT 13/02/2017
Negeri Sembilan's Bruno Junichi Suzuki Castanheira celebrates his goal against Sabah 2017
MSL outfit Selangor and Premier League's Negeri Sembilan face off competitively for the first time since 2013, in round two of the FA Cup on Tuesday.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

One of the round two FA Cup matches on Tuesday will pit Super League side Selangor against current Premier League leaders Negeri Sembilan, a match that will be played at the Red Giants' home the Selayang Municipal Stadium.

The match is expected to be a lot closer, despite what the separation in the tiers may suggest, and an upset may be on the cards.

The Red Giants, depending mainly on youngsters and former back up players, are riding their luck so far defying the expectations of many, having collected one win, two draws and one defeat, including a goalless draw away to JDT on Saturday.

The Deers meanwhile are romping through the second division having collected three wins, on the back of Brazil-born Japanese striker Bruno Suzuki's goal-scoring prowess.

However, the 26 year old will probably be given a tough time by Selangor centre back Ugo Ukah, who against JDT recovered his form to help his team keep a clean sheet, after a horrendous outing in their 5-3 defeat to PKNS FC one week earlier.

Despite playing a lower-tier side, Selangor boss Maniam Pachaiappan is expected to field his best side. Ukah should be starting as well as Liberian forward Francis Forkey Doe, together with their two other imports. Wing back Raimi Noor should be back in the squad following his suspension against JDT, and goalkeeper Khairul Azhan Khalid, who saved a penalty in the JDT match should start again.

Selangor's Francis Forkey Doe (left) playing against Pulau Pinang. Photo by Hazrin Mohd Zaidun/CSN

Apart from Suzuki, Negeri head coach Asri Ninggal will also likely field his other three foreign players in the match, as well as Curran Ferns and captain Nasriq Baharom. Striker Farderin Kadir, on loan from PKNS, is expected to start from the bench again, having scored their winner against PDRM last weekend as a substitute.

The two sides have not played each other for quite sometime, having last met in the 2013 Super League, the Deers' last season in the top division. In 2016, both sides crashed out of the competition in the third stage.