AFF Championship team profile: Malaysia

Goal's first team profile for the upcoming 2018 AFF Championship is on the Harimau Malaya; 2010 champions Malaysia.

Malaysia enter this year's edition perhaps with the objective of bettering their disastrous 2016 campaign, which ended at the group stage. They have been drawn in Group A.


In terms of individual qualities, perhaps some stark names missing, particularly from Johor Darul Ta'zim with neither La'Vere Corbin-Ong nor Natxo Insa selected. Head coach Tan Cheng Hoe has gone for the harmony of the squad and kept faith with the players that have been selected in the past few international call-ups. He is tasked with the aim to take Malaysia to the final and the feeling within the camp that new format suits the team better than previous editions. Friendly preparations leading up to the tournament is one of a mixed bag with two wins and two draws, in the last four matches.


Goalkeepers: Farizal Marlias, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Hafizul Hakim

Defenders: Nazirul Naim, Syazwan Andik, Adam Nor Azlin, Irfan Zakaria, Aidil Zafuan, Shahrul Saad, Amirul Azhan

Midfielders: Syamer Kutty Abba, Kenny Pallraj, Akram Mahinan, Syahmi Safari

Forwards: Safawi Rasid, Syafiq Ahmad, Hazwan Bakri, Syazwan Zainon, Akhyar Rashid, Zaquan Adha (C), Mohamadou Sumareh, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Shahrel Fikri.

Malaysia vs Chelsea - John Terry - Norshahrul Idlan Talaha

Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, one of the veteran players in the squad. Photo by Azhari Mohd Yusop


Tan Cheng Hoe was formerly the head coach of Kedah and led the team to Malaysia Cup triumph in 2016. He was the assistant coach to K. Rajagopal in the Malaysia team that won the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup. Prior to being installed as the head coach in 2018, Tan was the assistant to Portuguese trainer Eduardo Vingada, who was sacked after a disastrous showing in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers.

Tan Cheng Hoe, Malaysia

Tan Cheng Hoe. Photo from Malaysian FA


Tan prefers the 4-2-3-1 formation with two sitting midfielder with the emphasis on ball possession and using short passing to build up play.


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