Malaysia - Chonburi FC Preview: First of many friendlies for Raja's men

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; PROBABLE LINEUPS

MALAYSIA


Fahmi
Mahalli - Taj - Shahrul - Azizi
Nazrin - Gurusamy - Nazmi - Kunanlan
Yahyah - Fakri

CHONBURI

Hathairattanakool
Samana - Phuk-hom - Diakité - Kitpongsrii
Chaiman - Hemdaeng - Lahsoh - Kushida

Bošković - Bachdim

With Sunday’s mouth-watering clash against EPL giants Chelsea on the minds of Malaysia’s players and management, expect an unfamiliar line-up in Tuesday’s friendly against Thai side Chonburi FC. ; In a month long spell they will also take on Japanese sides Shimizu S-Pulse, Shonan Bellmare and Tokyo Verdy, before welcoming Barcelona to Bukit Jalil on August 10th. ; With that in mind it would be no surprise if a large amount of rotation takes place in this match, the first of six friendlies.

Head coach Datuk K Rajagopal has recently commented on Chonburi FC, calling them a “strong team” with a number of experienced internationals, and he will be surely hoping that his team does not take this match for granted with the Chelsea game on the horizon. ; A victory of any sort would be a major boost for a side which has not won in their last five friendly matches, and would give welcome confidence prior to taking on difficult opposition in the coming weeks.

Rajagopal has called up 27 players for the Malaysian national team, as well as 14 standby players, but one player who will not be featuring is Kelantan captain Badhri Radzi. ; He was in hot water with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) last week after failing to report for national duty on Thursday, and despite his impressive form this season, such discretions are unlikely to help his fight for a first team spot. ; Radzi is joined on the sidelines by the injured Azzamuddin Akil with Christie Jayaseelan and Junior Eldstal called up as replacements.

As for Chonburi, they are midway through their Thai Premier League campaign, currently sitting in third place, and they possess a number of overseas players. ; Serbian striker Ivan Bošković, Nigerian forward Samuel Ajayi and veteran Pipob On-mo are the dangermen that an unfamiliar Malaysian defence will have to watch out for, while Japanese midfielder Kazuto Kushida will look to pull the strings from deep. ; With recent Malaysia friendly failures against the likes of Palestine, Hong Kong and Bangladesh; it may be foolish to expect anything other than a close game out here.


; DID YOU KNOW?

  • Malaysia's last friendly victory was over nine months ago versus Hong Kong.

  • Chonburi have players from Brazil, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Japan, Spain and Indonesia within their ranks.

  • The Thai team were formed in 1997 and their nickname is the Sharks.

  • Chonburi's last match was a 3-0 victory against BEC Tero Sasana with Bošković (pictured), Buathong and Kitpongsri with the goals.

  • Malaysia's last win was back in March, a 2-1 home success over Yemen secured by Khyril Muhymeen. This time he is only on the standby squad list.


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