Jan 21, 2013

Sabah vs Kedah match preview - Daily Express

Sabah need to plug the gaps
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah need to tighten up at the back and show more resilience with their defending if they harbour any hopes of grabbing all three points against Kedah at the Likas Stadium in their Premier League clash today (Monday) at 4.15pm.

They must limit the mistakes they made against Kuala Lumpur and Sime Darby in the last two away losses.

If they can keep the ball and get a foothold in the game, there is a possible chance to get a win with the home ground advantage.

The team has been struggling since the start of the season with new set of players and they were lucky to meet two weaker teams in their first two home matches and came away with maximum points.

Playing against the team who had knocked them out in the first relegation playoff match last season won't be easy especially with the loss of veteran Zainizam Marjan who suffered a knee injury during the match against Kuala Lumpur.

The good news is that import player Rhys David Weston who was absent in the last three matches came through the final training session at the UMS football field on Sunday looking fine.

It will be a major boost if the defender can start the match as the team had let in six goals in his absence.

The midfield has been the main weakness in the team this season and there was no depth in the department and coach David McCreery is finding it hard to find the right combination so far.

One of the seniors in the team, Sumardi Hajalan who had been employed as a left back since the beginning may be given a role to operate from the engine room with local import Fazilidin Khalid and supported by Farid Saibuan on the left and Shahrudin Yakup on the right.

Koh Traore who is troubled with a swollen ankle may start from the bench with Wan Aliff Wan Jasmi and Kahirul Izwan Khalid starting the attack together for the first time.

Rhys Weston is likely to lead the team's defence today together with captain Rosdin Wasli, Hafizulldin Mohd Noor and Shahrul Azhar Ture while Shahril Sa'ari will continue to man the posts.

Sabah is currently in sixth place in the 12-team league with six points collected from four matches played.

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