The FourFourTwo Preview: MSL Gameweek 17
Pahang vs ATM
Pahang's form: WWWDW | ATM’s form: LLLLD
Last meeting: ATM 1-0 Pahang (March 2015)
Can the last team to inflict a league defeat on leaders Pahang prevail again on Wednesday? After having a near scare against Sime Darby on Saturday when they were forced to battle back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 4-2 win, the Elephants might look slightly vulnerable. However, the Armed Forces are unlikely to be able to capitalise on that due to their own horrid run of form, which saw them lose by a four-goal margin in their last two matches. On top of that, Pahang are one of the three teams yet to suffer a league defeat at home this season.
Johor Darul Ta'zim vs Sime Darby
JDT's form: WWWDW | Sime Darby's form: LDLDL
Last meeting: Sime Darby 1-1 JDT (March 2015)
It is needless to say that JDT will have to win this match to keep up with Pahang in the title race, but this match is equally important for Sime Darby. With only six rounds remaining, time is running out for the Giant Killers in their bid to record their first league win of the season and, more crucially, avoid relegation from the Super League. A defeat at the Larkin Stadium looks all but certain due to the Southern Tigers’ impregnable record at home, but for all it’s worth, Ismail Zakaria’s men performed slightly better away from home throughout the league season – they have scored nine goals (56.3%) and conceded 16 (44.4%) on the road.
Felda United vs Kelantan
Felda's form: LWDWL | Kelantan's form: WWDWL
Last meeting: Kelantan 0-1 Felda (March 2015)
After struggling almost all season long, Kelantan have suddenly become a force to be reckoned with again. Since the departure of head coach Azraai Khor Abdullah, the Red Warriors have picked up 10 points out of a possible 12 and scored as many goals in their last four matches as they did in their first 12 matches. Their renaissance will not be well-received by Felda United, who have only obtained two league wins at the Selayang Stadium so far.
Sarawak vs Selangor
Sarawak's form: LLLLL | Selangor's form: DLLWW
Last meeting: Selangor 2-0 Sarawak (March 2015)
If Mehmet Durakovic wants to keep Selangor’s slim title hope alive – they are 11 points behind Pahang with six matches remaining – he has to ensure his team win the next three games, which are against current bottom three Sarawak, Sime Darby and ATM. Ahead of Selangor’s trip to Sarawak, the Australian coach has both good and bad news. The encounter couldn’t have come at a better time for his side, as the Crocs are on a five-match losing run and have leaked in 14 goals during that period. However, the Red Giants’ injury crisis has worsened with Robert Cornthwaite unlikely to feature for the remainder of the league season after fracturing his cheekbone in the 1-1 draw against PDRM.
Terengganu vs LionsXII
Terengganu's form: WWWLL | LionsXII's form: WWWLD
Last meeting: Terengganu 3-2 LionsXII (May 2015)
After former head coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim took a break and was replaced by caretaker Ahmad Yusof, Terengganu have impressively recorded three wins out of three and scored 3.7 goals per match in the league (compared to just 1.3 goals per match under Abdul Rahman). Facing the LionsXII that have been vulnerable when they play away from home – they have garnered just six points out of a possible 24 so far – the Turtles will definitely fancy their chances to extend their purple patch of form. However, all eyes will be on the behaviour of the Terengganu fans instead, as this will be the first meeting between both teams since the heated second leg encounter in the FA Cup semi-finals.
PDRM vs Perak
PDRM's form: DLLWW | Perak's form: LLWWW
Last meeting: Perak 1-3 PDRM (March 2015)
Perak, who have lost their last two league matches, might be in for a difficult Wednesday against PDRM. The Cops’ new caretaker coach, Fauzi Pilus, has seemingly adopted a more pragmatic and organised approach as they finally recorded their first stalemate of the year after a 1-1 draw with Selangor last Saturday. However, on the bright side, the Bos Gaurus will be able to call upon captain Nasir Basharrudin, winger Nurridzuan Abu Hassan and former PDRM striker Chad Souza, who all missed the 1-0 defeat to Kelantan last week due to respective injuries.