FourFourTwo’s MSL preview – Round 11
Selangor(3) vs Kelantan (6)
Wed May 18 | Shah Alam Stadium | 9pm
Last meeting: Kelantan 0 Selangor 1 (Oct 2, 2015; Malaysia Cup)
Player to watch: Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria (Kelantan)
Billed as: Kelantan’s revival
Summary: The Red Warriors have largely been inconsistent this season but are expected to be vibrant under new coach Velizar Popov, who signed a day after K. Devan announced his resignation last week.
Popov has wasted little time in laying down the marker, saying he defeated Selangor in the 2013 AFC Cup with Maldivian club New Radiant and expects his charges to do the same on Wednesday.
The Red Giants are licking their wounds after being shown the AFC Cup exit door by Tampines last Tuesday, three days after a S.League Selection walked away with the Sultan of Selangor Cup.
Zainal Abidin Hassan is already feeling the heat and another defeat will invoke the wrath of the fans, who are threatening to launch campaigns to demand the resignation of several officials in the management.
FFT Prediction: Selangor 1 Kelantan 2
Kedah(7) vs PDRM(5)
Wed May 18 | Darul Aman Stadium | 9pm
Last meeting: PDRM 2 Kedah 3 (June 24, 2014; MPL)
Player to watch: Carlos Kahe (Kedah)
Billed as: Mid-table battle
Summary: The Red Eagles are still searching for their first league win since March 1 but will not underestimate the Cops, who are looking a very balanced squad with key foreign players.
Tan Cheng Hoe is without the service of Sandro da Silva Mendonca, who has returned to Brazil for treatment following a back injury he aggravated in the FA Cup semi-final first-leg against JDT last month.
Kedah still have Liridon Krasniqi but those surrounding the Kosovan will need to step up their game if the club is to record a win in front of their fans.
PDRM have lost their edge in front of goal but an improved defence is helping Fauzi Pilus maintain the Cops in mid-table. Pilus’ side is difficult to break down and only Kelantan, JDT and Felda have defeated PDRM so far.
FFT Prediction: Kedah 2 PDRM 2
Penang(11) vs Felda United(1)
Wed May 18 | City Stadium | 9pm
Last meeting: Felda 4 Penang 0 (June 13, 2014; MPL)
Player to watch: Francis Forkey Doe (Felda)
Billed as: David vs Goliath
Summary: It is difficult to look beyond Irfan Bakti Abu Salim’s men in this one. The Fighters are top of the league, playing attractive football, while Penang look shoe-in for the drop to the Malaysia Premier League (MPL) next year.
Felda’s midfield duo of Zah Rahan Krangar and Lutfulla Turaev are dominating the engine room, Doe is banging in the goals up front while veteran Shukor Adan is marshalling the back-four effectively.
Though Penang currently occupy the last spot for Malaysia Cup qualification, the Panthers could eventually miss out if Sarawak record a better result this weekend. Penang have lost their last three games and Felda could be too big a task for them.
FFT Prediction: Penang 0 Felda 3