Malaysia Super League Preview: LionsXII vs Terengganu

As much as this is a battle between two sides with plenty of attacking talent within them, there’s a certain pedigree about this that will make is exciting, when the match kicks off on Saturday.

These are two sides with plenty to prove. After a disappointing campaign last season, Fandi Ahmad will certainly be expected to do better this year, with a more talented squad at his disposal. Though it must be said, we haven’t seen much from them in the first four games of the season, except for glimpses of their serene brilliance.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

Terengganu on the other hand, have always been in and around the mix over the last few seasons, but Abdul Rahman Ibrahim was keen on them becoming a real title challenger this year, and the acquisition of Paulo Rangel exemplified their ambitions. But with seven points from their first four games, anyone would be compelled to think they still have areas to improve on.

While the pivotal battle in this one will obviously take place in the middle of the park, there is one key combat to look at. Last time out, LionsXII’s Madhu Mohana was absolutely impressive at the heart of their defence, especially on nullifying the threat posed by Felda United’s Edward Wilson. They eventually secured a 0-0 draw in that one, keeping the league leaders at bay for 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, Paulo Rangel’s two-goal show against ATM wasn’t enough to secure the win, but it was a timely reminder of what the Brazilian is capable of, when he turns on the style. He’s already notched 5 goals in 4 games, and will be raring to go on Saturday night, though this time around, he’ll have to manouever past a confident Madhu Mohana.

Photo Credit: LionsXII
Photo Credit: LionsXII

The other key battle to look at is the one between Gustavo Lopez and Isa Halim. Rangel has obviously been the center of attention, but Gustavo’s importance to Terengganu is absolutely indubitable; his inflluence from midfield is second to none. But in Isa Halim, LionsXII have a combative midfielder, capable of containing things in the middle of the park. He did that against Felda’s Zah Rahan Krangar, and will most likely be tasked to deal with Gustavo.

On paper, Terengganu visibly look more dangerous, but take nothing away from LionsXII, especially when they’re playing at home. Speak to the PDRM players, they certainly know a thing or two about the Jalan Besar Stadium.


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