10 players Vingada should recall for Malaysia's final Asian Cup roll of the dice

Upcoming trips to Pyongyang and Hong Kong in October will decide Malaysia’s 2019 Asian Cup hopes. Some youngsters are set to re-join after the SEA Games while a number of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) players should be included too.

MATTHEW DAVIES

One of Malaysia’s more consistent performers at the SEA Games, the 22-year-old Pahang captain is naturally a right-back but can also play as a right-midfielder, a position coach Nelo Vingada is looking at after Baddrol Bakhtiar’s poor showing against Hong Kong in September.

Davies is hardworking, can deliver good crosses and would add depth to the squad.

NOR AZAM AZIH

The mastermind in midfield during the Games, Azam may have pushed himself up the pecking order for Harimau Malaya.

Azam was a squad member in June but never saw action. With Vingada being urged to refresh the squad, Azam could even find himself in the starting 11 alongside Safiq Rahim and Kiko Insa.

If he doesn’t start next month, it’ll only be a matter of time before Azam breaks into the line-up.

FAZLY MAZLAN

Is there a better left-back in the country than this Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) product?

Nazirul Naim Che Hashim hasn’t managed to make the position his own, while Fitri Omar doesn’t seem to have won over Vingada.

Fazly can provide what Rizal Ghazali does on the right with bursting runs and good defending.

SAFAWI RASID

A livewire for the Malaysia under-22 side in recent months, Safawi is a young talent full of energy and desire to take on players, an ability that Malaysia needs.

He may not be ready to start senior international matches, but could provide adequate cover for Kedah’s Syazwan Zainon, another exciting player in the Malaysia squad.

AZRIF NASRULHAQ

Azrif does not get as much playing time at JDT as he did at Selangor, but he has done well when given the nod.

He was among the standouts for Malaysia in the Asian Cup qualifying playoff last year, but missed the previous squads due to injury. He is fast, can play on both flanks as a defender or midfielder and is not afraid to take on opponents.