Possible Malaysia XI against Cambodia

With a win in the opening match crucial to Malaysia's chances of progression, Ong Kim Swee is expected to play an attacking side. Here's how the Tigers could line-up against Cambodia on Sunday...

Goalkeeper: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat

The Kelantan custodian did not start against Afghanistan but is expected to return to the line-up. Khairul Azhan is equally good but Ong has often turned to Khairul Fahmi when it matters, something that could be the case at the Suzuki Cup.

Right-back: Rizal Ghazali

A few months ago, he wasn't even considered for the national team, but Rizal made the most of the opportunity given and is making it hard for Matthew Davies to cement a starting role. Rizal is also in great form having scored crucial goals in Kedah's Malaysia Cup win last month.

Left-back: Matt Davies

Not usually a left-back, but right-footed Davies seems to be Malaysia's best bet as Nazirul Naim Che Hashim has been inconsistent. An opponent like Cambodia could be ideal for Davies to get another game under his belt on the left ahead of presumably tougher ties against Vietnam and Myanmar.

Centre-back: Shahrom Kalam

Shahrom, arguably the only established centre-back in the squad, is a sure starter. The Selangor captain is composed and arranges the back-four well. Having him fit throughout the competition is vital for Malaysia's chances.

Centre-back: Shahrul Saad

The 23-year-old is likely to play in defence again despite being needed to add steel to Malaysia's weak midfield.

The Tigers are expected to take a more offensive approach against Cambodia, meaning there is probably a less critical need to have a defensive midfielder in the line-up.

Right wing: Syazwan Zainon

Syazwan did not start against Papua New Guinea but if Ong wants to attack from the very beginning, having Syazwan is vital as options are not plenty when it comes to players who can run as defenders.

Syazwan could also be used an impact substitute if the Tigers opt for Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak to give more stability.

Left wing: Amri Yahyah

Having played in this position often for Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), keeping Amri on the left flank is perhaps a wise thing to do.

Despite being 35, Malaysia's captain can still last the full 90 minutes and has more than enough experience in him to be a threat on the wings despite not being the fastest around.

Central midfield: Baddrol Bakhtiar

Baddrol is the only player to have started all of Malaysia's matches under Ong's watch and baring any injuries or suspension, the Kedah midfielder is expected to start every match at the Suzuki Cup.

The 28-year-old plays on the right-flank but is needed to beef up the Tigers' engine room following Safiq Rahim and Brendan Gan's absence.

Central midfield: Irfan Fazail

His inclusion in the line-up will spark an outcry, especially because he is seen as Ong's golden boy from their Harimau Muda days.

Yet with Baddrol expected to sit deep, Irfan is the only other attacking minded central-midfielder in the squad. On his day, Irfan can deliver defence splitting passes to open up opponents.

Forward: Ahmad Hazwan Bakri

There simply isn't a better a choice to lead the frontline than Hazwan, who has scored seven in 16 international appearances thus far.

Like many of his teammates, Hazwan has never played in the Suzuki Cup. He, however, has been part of the Harimau Muda set-up in the past and groomed for international action for years.

Forward: Darren Lok

His inclusion stirred controversy and it was fueled further by a lack of impact on his debut against Singapore, but Lok has since silenced critics.

A man of the match display against Papua New Guinea compelled Ong to label the Tigers’ a secret weapon for the Suzuki Cup. Darren was hardworking, held the ball up well and won most of the aerial battles against the Oceania nation on Monday.