Kelantan seek to regain their lead in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) this weekend when they fly down to Kuching to meet unpredictable Sarawak.
However, a trip to Kuching will not guarantee Kelantan the full three points just yet as Sarawak coach Robert Alberts has warned that the visiting team will be in for a shock when he unleashed his latest partnership in Joel Epalle and Guy Bwele.
If history is to be of any proof, Sarawak can indeed match Kelantan as they did just that in the FA Cup tie this year. In fact, Kelantan was lucky to win by the solitary goal because Sarawak controlled the game at Kota Bharu.
Statistics however favour Hashim Mustafa’s men as they parade many national players in their line-up. National goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat leads Kelantan from the back, while the midfield and forward would have the likes of Indra Putra Mahayuddin and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha. Apart from the local nationals, Kelantan also boast of Mohammed Ghaddar and Onyekachi Nwoha whom have found the back of the net with ease.
Playing at home does however give Sarawak the balance they need to match Kelantan. Despite not having many national players, Sarawak has been regarded by many as the dark horses in the MSL and they often play better when at home. To add to their home advantage is the inclusion of Joel Epalle of Cameroon. Epalle’s wise ball distribution and his calmness in front of goal may just be the ingredient Sarawak has been looking for for the past 11 weeks, as he is surely to be assisted by Bwele, Ashri Chuchu, Sharol Saperi, Rashid Aya and Zamri Morshidi up front.
Sani Amar Sudar is expected to regain his place between the despite Dzulazlan Ibrahim and Azizan Baba both doubtful at the back line. However, Robert Alberts has a wide selection of capable defenders with Shahran Abdul Samad and Maswandi Zakeria fit and ready when called to the job.
The match is highly anticipated with Roberts making confident statements of his chances in local press. However, Hashim’s men are highly rated and the quality they posses in almost every department may just be too hot for Sarawak to handle. We do however expect both teams to share the spoils.
Prediction: Sarawak 2-2 Kelantan
Photo above credit to hazmanfadzil.com