Match: Malaysia v Afghanistan
Date: 11 October, Tuesday
Time: 8:45pm SGT/6:15pm IST/1:45pm BST
Venue: Shah Alam Stadium
Competition: International Friendly
TV Coverage: In Singapore, there is no TV coverage of the clash between Malaysia and Afghanistan.
Malaysia host Afghanistan in an international friendly at the Shah Alam Stadium on 11 October.
The hosts come into the match after an unconvincing performance against Causeway rivals Singapore in their friendly on Friday. Despite snatching a goalless draw away from home, Ong Kim Swee's team had been the second best on the pitch at the National Stadium.
Kim Swee has been maintaining that the loss of some his key players, including former captain Safiq Rahim, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, Amirulhadi Zainal and S Kunalan, in the tussle between the national team and Malaysian league giants Johor Darul Ta'zim has been affecting the team.
Ahead of the 2016 Suzuki Cup, in which they have been drawn Myanmar and Vietnam along with the winners of the upcoming qualifiers, the Tigers have found it hard to get going without their experienced stars. A 3-0 defeat to Indonesia last month complicated their problems.
However, coach Kim Swee said he was happy with the performance of his players after the draw against Singapore. He lauded the efforts of the fresh-look backline that fended off a stiff challenge from Khairul Amri-led Lions' attack.
The return of striker Hazwan Bakri should boost the hosts' confidence but they have lost defender Khairul Helmi to injury. Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, who put on a good show after coming off the bench in his comeback match on Friday, would want to impress his coach.
Harimu Malaysia's head coach maintained that the European exposure of some of the Afghan players will give them the edge over their side. He also recounted Singapore's defeat to their Tuesday's opponents earlier this year before stressing on defensive discipline.
"Singapore lost to them in the World Cup Qualifying round so we will face a tougher challenge against Afghanistan. Whatever it is, we have to remain focus and the objective is not to concede goals," Kim Swee was quoted as saying by the Yahoo Sports.
"We know Afghanistan have plenty of their players playing in Europe, and they are better than Singapore.
"We are not settled yet, and I am still trying to find few more combinations. I have to juggle between getting results and giving opportunity for players to play."
On the other hand, Afghanistan will rely a lot on their Faysal Shayesteh, who features in the Malaysian Super League for Pahang FC. Coach Petar Segrt though conceded his side faced a similar problem to that of their opponents.
"We come here, we are missing some of the players, eight, nine players we cannot bring because we have problems with injuries. But it is okay, we must find a solution. Believe me, tomorrow we will start with 11 players, do not worry, it doesn not matter who start," Segrt was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
Possible XI: Khairil Fahmi, Matthew Davies, Fadhli Shas, Ronny Harun, Azrif Nasrulhaq; Fazail Irfan, Wan Zack Haikal, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Brendan Gan, Rasid Safawi; Hazwan Bakri
Possible XI: Ovays Azizi; Hassan Amin, Mohammad Hashemi, Faysal Shayesteh, Abassin Alikhil; Masih Saighani, Kanishkha Taher, N Amiri, Zubayr Amiri; Mustafa Hadid, Mustafa Sazai