Rajagobal to test youth against Vietnam

Malaysia coach K. Rajagobal looks set to give a number of youngsters a chance to impress ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup in next Tuesday's friendly against Vietnam.

Football News: Malaysia

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

With the Suzuki Cup just two months away, Rajagobal has gone for an interesting blend of youth and experience in his 25-man squad for next week's game at the Shah Alam Stadium, naming four uncapped players.

Leading the way is central midfielder Gary Robbat, who has had a fine season with Harimau Muda in the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League and impressed playing for a Malaysia XI against Barclays Premier League giants Arsenal two months ago, drawing praise from Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.

Johor FC goalkeeper Zamir Selamat will also be hoping to earn his first cap, although he faces tough competition from Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and Farizal Marlias, while ATM winger D. Christie Jayaseelan and Terengganu anchorman Abdul Shukor Jusoh have both been rewarded for consistent displays at club level.

There are also a handful of players who have been capped less than five times in the squad, including exciting wing duo Wan Zack Haikal and Azamuddin Akil, Terengganu defenders Faizal Muhammad and Zubir Azmi, and Kelantan defensive-midfielder Shakir Shaari, who has already shown signs of a good understanding with Harimau Malaya captain Safiq Rahim in the engine room.

Considering Vietnam are expected to pose a real test next Tuesday given the strong team coach Phan Thanh Hung has named, Rajagobal has wisely included most of his key players, including Safiq, strikers Safee Salim and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, and ATM defensive duo Aidil Zafuan and Azmi Muslim.

Malaysia squad (to face Vietnam on September 11)

Goalkeepers: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan), Farizal Marlias (Negri Sembilan), Zamir Selamat (Johor FC)

Defenders: Amirizwan Taj Tajuddin, Aidil Zafuan, Azmi Muslim (all ATM), Mahalli Jasuli, Fadhli Shas (both Harimau Muda), Bunyamin Umar (Selangor), Faizal Muhammad, Zubir Azmi (both Terengganu), S. Subramaniam (Kelantan)

Midfielders: D. Christie Jayaseelan (ATM), Gary Robbat, Wan Zack Haikal (both Harimau Muda), Azamuddin Akil (Pahang), Safiq Rahim (Selangor), Shakir Shaari (Kelantan), S. Kunanlan (Negri Sembilan), Abdul Shukor Jusoh (Terengganu)

Forwards: Zaquan Adha (ATM), Ahmad Shakir Ali (Negri Sembilan), Khyril Muhymeen Zambri (Kedah), Safee Sali (Pelita Jaya), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan)

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