Selangor will want to take advantage of their stellar performance after trouncing star-studded Darul Takzim last Saturday, when entertaining 2012 S.League champions Tampines Rovers this Wednesday, in their second AFC Cup match. Although their overall performance this season has been a bit of a yo-yo, Selangor has performed well at home, and this home advantage will definitely add to the obstacles that must be overcome by the Stags.
Their coach Irfan Bakti will want to retain most of the players who featured in their spectacular Saturday win, except for the inclusion of their AFC-only import Michel Kubala. However, Ramez Dayoub’s exclusion from the squad due to his match-fixing charges might just come back to haunt Selangor in this match, and on the Asian front.
The Stags have been solid so far this season, being beaten only once, in their previous AFC match against Vienamese side Sai Gon Xuan Tanh. They will do well to rely on their evergreen striker Aleksander Duric, who consistently performs well against Malaysian teams. Their coach Nenad Bacina will most probably rely on the same starting XI as the previous week and can call upon the services of super-sub Jamil Ali should things not go their way, especially mid-way through the second half. However, the inclusion of left-back Shaiful Esah is still doubtful, as he is still nursing a knock he picked up in last week’s match.
This match is also important to these two teams who now occupy the bottom two spots of Group H, if they want to keep up with the leaders, and to advance to the next round in the competition. It is probably apt to say that the winner of this match will live on to fight another day, while the loser will fail to qualify to the next round. Expect a cagey fight to the finish between these two teams from two countries who are never too amiable when it comes to football.
Mahali - Chrappan - Nasriq - Asra (c)
Solehin - Gurusamy - Kubala - Kunanlan
Doe - Amri
Imran - Yamashita - Jufri - Anaz
Firdaus - Mustafic (c) - Shahdan
DID YOU KNOW?
Selangor only qualified for this year’s AFC Cup competition because Kelantan, the 2012 Malaysian Super League champions had already qualified for the same competition by also winning the FA Cup.
This is Selangor’s first foray into Asian competitions since they exited their last campaign in 2010 at the group stage.
In the 2012 edition, Tampines were placed in the same group with another Malaysian outfit, Terengganu.
The last time Selangor met a Singaporean team in an Asian competition was in the 2006 AFC Cup. That team was Tampines Rovers.
*source : goal.com