Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Selangor ready to resume old rivalry with Singapore

Local fans will be treated to arguably the biggest match in the M-League  when Selangor and Singapore renew their bitter rivalry after 18 years at the Shah Alam Stadium tomorrow.

Selangor and Singapore were fierce rivals before the latter withdrew from the competition after winning  the league and Malaysia Cup titles in 1994.

Previous clashes between the two teams had always been intense and the match tomorrow is expected to be the same, especially with both sides desperately needing a good result to boost their confidence.

Selangor and  Singapore  are not in their best form with both teams having teething problems with their strike force.

The Klang Valley side have scored just one goal more than the Lions with five from five matches.

Selangor, however, have signed on former Aston Villa striker Basko Balaban to boost their attack while the Lions have done nothing to solve their problem.

Selangor coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim is confident his side will earn three points tomorrow.

"The Lions are raw as they waste too many opportunities. We, however, need to be wary as pride is at stake in this match in view of  history," said Irfan yesterday.

"You never know in football, there are always surprises, but right now we feel more confident after the short break."

Irfan, however, will need to reshuffle his team's back line as Lebanese international Ramez Dayoub is suspended. The centre-back has been instrumental and his absence will be felt.

The coach will choose either right-back Razman Roslan or Nasrig Baharom to partner Asraruddin Putra Omar in the absence of Ramez.

As for the Lions, who had limited preparation ahead of the season, they need to be more adventurous up front.

They have  found the net only four times,  one of them  courtesy of a Kuala Lumpur own goal during their 2-1 win on Jan 17.

Coach V. Sundramoorthy needs either to get a new striker or convert another player into a forward.

The team are also facing injury problems with Safuwan Baharuddin (defender) and Shahdan Sulaiman (midfielder) doubtful.

Safuwan and Shahdan are both down with ankle injuries but the good news for Singapore is that defender Baihakki Khaizan has recovered  from a knee injury which kept him out for almost two weeks.

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