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Possible Malaysia XI vs Mongolia: Strong line-up expected for Tan Cheng Hoe’s debut

Tan Cheng Hoe takes charge of his first match as Malaysia coach in Harimau Malaya's return to Bukit Jalil Stadium after almost three years. Here's 11 players who could start in the friendly against Mongolia on Thursday...

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GOALKEEPER: HAZIQ NADZLI

The Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) custodian may have hogged the headlines for all the wrong reasons the last time he donned a Malaysia jersey on home soil, when his misplaced punch helped Thailand win SEA Games gold.

But he has grown in strength since, representing Malaysia at the AFC Under-23 Championship and the Southern Tigers in the MSL.

He has good distribution and Tan could be tempted to give him his senior debut in what is expected to be an easier match compared to the trip to Lebanon on March 27.

RIGHT-BACK: MATTHEW DAVIES

The Pahang skipper has shown tremendous consistency for some time now, with a good outing at the AFC U23 tournament reinforcing his claims as the country’s best right-back.

S. Kunanlan’s withdrawal due to injury mean Davies does not have much competition for a starting role either.

CENTRE-BACK: FADHLI SHAS

The centre-back has grown in stature over the past year and is establishing himself as among the best central defenders in the Malaysia Super League (MSL).

He has played the most minutes compared to the other centre-backs at JDT and is the most experienced defender in the Malaysia squad with over 50 international appearances.

He is among six players called up by Tan who have over 20 international appearances.

CENTRE-BACK: SHAHRUL SAAD

Adam Nor Azlin, who captained the Malaysia Under-23 side, is a strong candidate to play alongside Fadhli Shas.

They have been paired together at JDT already and this match offers Tan an opportunity to give the Shahrul-Fadhli partnership more time to build an understanding.

LEFT-BACK: LA'VERE CORBIN-ONG

Another possible debutant in the squad, but Corbin-Ong is not a stranger to international football.

He came off the bench for Canada against Scotland last March, but it was only a friendly match, making him available for the Tigers.

The left-back has many in awe with his explosive play and dangerous long throws into the box.