MSL Preview: Five things to look out for in Gameweek 6
Mid-season signings galore
With the transfer window reopening briefly for the teams to strengthen themselves, April is a good month for everyone (except for the LionsXII for the obvious reason). Some teams have wasted little time to do so, with JDT, as usual, being the headline grabber with their signings of Argentine starlet Patito Rodriguez and Sierra Leone international Alhaji Kamara. Jorginho James could make his debut for Perak if he can get the paperwork sorted in time, while Terengganu will most likely unleash Canadian-Japanese forward Issey Nakajima-Farran this week.
Azraai Khor’s return to Terengganu
Speaking of the Turtles, they will take on Kelantan at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in the first East Coast derby of the season. This kind of encounter is usually a spicy affair, and it could get even, erm, spicier now that Azraai Khor Abdullah is in charge of the Red Warriors. After all, Azraai coached Terengganu’s brother team, T-Team, last season and resigned from his post following his failure to keep the Titans in the Super League.
Mat Yo faces former club JDT
Another reunion is on the card as ATM striker Norhahrul Idlan Talaha returns to his old scoring ground at the Larkin Stadium. The national striker, who was allowed to leave on a free transfer after a poor season with the Southern Tigers, should be all fired up for this clash, as there is nothing he would like more than proving his former employers wrong in letting him go in the first place.
Can PDRM bounce back from their FA Cup setback?
PDRM have surprised everyone by challenging for the top spot despite having lost most of their key players of last season. Now right on the heels of league leaders Felda United, they have the chance to go above them temporarily by defeating Sarawak at the Shah Alam Stadium as they play on Friday. However, they had a slight hiccup in their last competitive match before the international break when they suffered a shock 4-2 loss to Sime Darby. Besides that, talisman Ali Ashfaq has been confirmed by his agent that he will not be participating in the match against the Crocs after failing to recover from his injury in time. With those in mind, the Cops might struggle to pick up the full points.
Will Nwakaeme finally end his goal drought?
Goal-shy Pahang have only scored three goals in five league matches so far, which has not been helped by the lack of goals from Dickson Nwakaeme. The Nigerian has yet to open his account in the Super League so far, and his last league goal was almost a year ago when he scored once in Pahang’s 4-1 win over Sime Darby. Yes, he has scored plenty since then in other competitions, but the Elephants, sitting third from the bottom, will be in big trouble if Nwakaeme continues to underperform. He has to begin scoring now, starting with the LionsXII – who has the joint-second worst defence, by the way – this week.