Both teams come into this match on the back of equally disappointing exits from the AFC Cup, where they were dumped out of the competition after decisive 2-0 defeats. With eight points separating Selangor from league leaders Lions XII, and 11 points separating Kelantan from the top spot, anything but three points for either side will extinguish any faint title hopes both teams possess.
For the Kelantan, the midweek schooling at the hands of Hong Kong team Kitchee SC on their home turf would have been a particularly chastening experience. For a team who went over one year, and 30 matches undefeated at Kota Bharu, they have now lost two of their last five home matches, therefore a Selangor win is not out of the question.
However to achieve a much needed three points, the Red Giants of Selangor would have to find a cure for their persistant home sickness, which has seen them pick up only one win in eight league fixtures on the road this season. Selangor are also on a poor run of form, picking up only one win in their last eight matches in all competitions, and managing four straight draws in their last four league outings.
The Red Warriors of Kelantan have surely all but given up on their chances of retaining the Malaysian Super League this season, but the Malaysian FA Cup still offers a viable chance of silverware therefore they will look to hit top form before their semi-final versus Terengganu next weekend. AFC eligible players Lek Kcira and Dimitri Petratos will of course drop out here, expect them to be replaced in the line-up by Nik Shahrul and Dickson Nwakaeme.
Selangor will come into this fixture surely weary, after a gruelling trip to the Maldives ended in extra-time, where they were comprehensively outplayed by New Radiant. As well as the extra-time and travelling, the visitors will have had one day less to rest than Kelantan for this fixture, therefore a victory here looks like long odds. Irfan Bakti has not quite had the squad to be able to rotate his players, therefore expect much of the same team to play that struggled in the Maldives. Malaysian internationals Amri Yahyah and Mahali Jasuli, both so poor mid-week, were at least withdrawn early in the second period so they should have fresher legs than many of their teammates.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- A win here for Kelantan would see them overtake Selangor on goal-difference.
- Last season Kelantan dumped Selangor out of the FA Cup, 3-0 on aggregate with a 1-0 victory at home, followed up by a 2-0 victory at Stadium Shah Alam
- Kelantan's Lek Kcira and Dimitry Petratos were only registered to play in AFC Cup due to FAM rules on reistrations of foreign players, the same is true of Selangor's Michel Kubala and Peter Chappran.
- When these two teams met earlier in the season, Selangor truimphed 2-0 thanks to Francis Forkey Doe and the now departed Ramez Dayoub.
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