Analysis

Malaysia 23-man Suzuki Cup squad profile

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Irfan Fazail

Age: 25

Position: Central-midfield

Club: JDT II

Photo by: Weixiang Lim/FFT

Irfan’s route into the national team was fast-tracked following the retirement of Safiq and the former is still playing catch-up after knee injuries hampered his growth following his Harimau Muda and Malaysia under-23 days.

Irfan has the ability to make defence-splitting passes, like he did against Papua New Guinea. It is no secret that Ong is a big fan of his capabilities.

FFT Rating: ***

S. Veenod

Age: 28

Position: Defensive-midfield

Club: Selangor

Photo by: Selangor

Veenod is a workhorse that never stops running to deny opponents time on the ball, often winning one-on-one duels.

Yet his lack of composure and creativity while on the ball often works against him.

The Selangor midfielder is the perfect player to have on the field if the Malaysians are leading. He is unlikely to start matches if Ong opts for a two-man midfield compared to a three-man engine room.

FFT Rating: ***

Syazwan Zainon

Age: 27

Position: Right-wing

Club: Kedah

Photo by: Kedah

Syazwan’s form with Kedah and the unavailability of Christie Jayaseelan and Azrif Nasrulhaq saw the winger introduced to the Tigers squad in recent months.

He was taken off because of injury against Afghanistan and did not start against Papua New Guinea as Zaquan was given match time.

Syazwan is fast and loves taking on opponents. His ability to go past players is something the Tigers need. He also scored a stunning volley against the Malaysia under-22 in a closed-door friendly recently, something he also did in training.

FFT Rating: ***