Selangor vs PDRM: Visitors under threat of being pinned back

FA Cup | Hang Jebat Stadium | Fri 4 March | 9pm

Billed as

Can visitors hold out?

The lowdown

Selangor have managed their tight schedule with an unbeaten record but they have the habit of conceding first in matches.

The team let in sloppy goals against Pahang and Sarawak only to bounce back and record 3-1 and 4-2 victories in their last two Malaysian Super League matches.

This is something coach Zainal Abidin Hassan needs to solve as the team may just run out of luck one day and lose as a result.

Selangor have played six matches – including one in the AFC Cup – in 18 days and understandably, Zainal has been rotating to keep his players fresh.

PDRM can count on the advantage of having played one game less, but Selangor have displayed depth in almost every position with ample resources on the bench despite an injury crisis that ravaged the squad recently.

Many felt that the absence of centre-back Robert Cornthwaite from a foot problem two weeks ago would affect Selangor but their backline, comprising captain Shahrom Abdul Kalam, Rasman Roslan, Azrif Nasrulhaq and Raimi Mohd Noor, has been dependable apart from their tendency to concede first.

A strong attacking focus will mean Selagor pushing forwards from the off

The defence has been bailed out on the occasions they have slipped up by Selangor’s attack, with the side playing enterprising football under Zainal. The former Pahang trainer has turned the team into an attacking force, though he will be working to add some variety to their play in the next few weeks as most of their moves begin from the flanks.

PDRM, who have notched only two wins in all competitions, have decent players but most lack big-match experience.

Coach Fauzi Pilus will likely play it tight and depend on counter attacks as opting to aiming to beat their hosts – a side with 13 goals in all competitions this season – at their own game will be suicide.

The police outfit may only have netted only five times this term but they have done decently in defence conceding the same number.

Key battle: Patrick Wleh (Selangor) vs Ali Ashfaq (PDRM)

The match is certainly one that could be decided by both sides’ respective frontmen. Patrick Wleh has done well as a target man for Selangor. The Liberian international, who arrived on a one-year loan from PKNS, has struck six times this season, with four coming from the last two matches alone.

Wleh is a fox in the penalty box and does not miss many chances that come. PDRM’s defence will have to work overtime to shackle him and deny space in the box.

Ali Ashfaq has contributed three of five PDRM’s goals, meanwhile, and the striker’s nippy runs into the penalty box will definitely trouble Selangor. The Maldives international is not afraid of taking on defenders and the highly skilled player is also known for creating his own space for goals.

Fact and figures

  • Selangor are unbeaten this season with a record of four wins and two draws while PDRM have not won a match since the 2-1 triumph over DRB-Hicom in a FA Cup second round match on February 19.
  • PDRM have recorded only one win in four matches over Selangor. The win came in the Malaysia Cup, where PDRM won 2-0 on August 20, 2014.
  • Ali Ashfaq got his name on the score sheet in the 1-1 draw with Selangor in a Super League match at Shah Alam Stadium on August 1, 2015.

FourFourTwo Prediction

Selangor 2 PDRM 0. PDRM could take a cautious approach but Selangor’s attacking prowess will be too much for them.