Malaysia Super League | Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium | Friday 11 March | 9pm
A tale of two desperados
Selangor coach Zainal Abidin Hassan and his Terengganu compatriot, Mike Mulvey, are under tremendous pressure to attain a good result in this match as their respective bosses and fans are already losing patience.
After back-to-back defeats to Police (FA Cup third round) and Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup), Selangor need a win badly to regain their confidence and also hold on to their lead at the top of the Malaysia Super League standing.
Zainal may have options in his squad but some have not been performing and it was evident in the 1-0 loss to Tampines on Tuesday.
It is bad news for the coach as his regulars are feeling tired from the hectic schedule.
Selangor have been playing an average of one match in every three days since the start of the league on Feb 13.
Zainal arrived in Selangor with impressive credentials but so far he has failed to turn his team into a formidable unit. He is desperate for good results after his team’s exit in the FA Cup and the failure in the Charity Shield-cum-league match against Johor Darul Ta’zim on the opening day.
The match could also decide Mulvey’s future as interim coach. Mulvey had replaced Ahmad Yusof last month but the team have been erratic under him.
He faces a must-win situation against Selangor as if his team loses, he may have to go.
Midfielders Ismail Faruqi and Issey Nakajima Farran are doubtful while striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha is struggling with fitness.
Terengganu have one striker in Juan Jose Morales but the Argentine hardly plays.
On Selangor’s front, forward Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and Australian centre-back Robert Cornthwaite have reported for training after recovering from injuries but they will not feature.
Key battle: Patrick Wleh (Selangor) vs Sharbinee Allawee (Terengganu)
Patrick Wleh is doing decently with seven goals to his name. The well-built striker is fantastic in the air and can score goals from any angles inside the penalty box.
He does not fear taking on defenders and his ball control is near-perfect.
The only problem with Wleh is if he does not get the supplies from his teammates, he becomes an excess baggage during matches.
Goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee is a hard man to beat on his day and he will definitely need to be alert to stop Selangor from scoring goals.
Wleh is not Sharbinee’s only problem as he also needs to watch out for Hafiz Kamal’s thunderous free-kicks and Argentine Mauro Olivi’s enterprising runs into the penalty box.
Fact and figures
Selangor have beaten Terengganu twice in eight away meetings since 2009 with the wins recorded in 2014 (4-1) and 2013 (2-0).
Terengganu have scored only four goals in all competitions, with forward Amirul Syahmi Asha’ri currently the leading scorer following his brace in the 2-1 win over Pahang on March 1
Patrick Wleh has contributed to seven of 14 goals scored by Selangor in all competitions.
Terengganu 0 Selangor 1. Both teams are facing issues with injuries and motivation but Selangor have the edge in attack.