PKNS FC head coach K. Rajagobal may go for a different approach against Selangor FA in the FA Cup first-leg semifinals, having played the Red Giants in quick succession.
Both teams will face each other four times in less than a month, and Saturday’s contest at Cheras Stadium is the third in just over two weeks.
Most recently, Rafael Ramazotti conjured up an injury-time header to earn the Red Ants a 2-2 draw against their sister club on June 10.
The Red Giants had beaten PKNS 2-1 at Cheras Stadium four days prior to that, and Rajagobal is aware how his opponents may set-up for this showdown.
“We may need to take a different approach, we’ll see. It will be a good mental test for both teams and I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting semifinal,” Rajagobal told FOX Sports Asia.
“We know each other’s game well. Both teams have different strengths and weakness, so it is a matter of taking your chances when you get them.”
Form wise, Selangor hold a slight advantage coming into this contest having won twice and drawn twice in their last four matches.
But they have been overly reliant on their top goalscorer Rufino Segovia and also Amri Yahyah to drag them back from the cusp of defeats.
If Rajagobal can stifle the influence of the duo in the final third, Selangor’s supply line are cut and they will struggle to find the goals.
Rajagobal, meanwhile, can count on his new Brazilian import Bruno Oliveira, who bagged a double in the 2-0 victory over Kelantan FA on June 19.
With Ramazotti, and the in-form Faris Ramli and Safee Sali all at his disposal, PKNS could find the away goals to take back to Shah Alam Stadium in a week’s time.
Pahang FA will host PKNP FC in the other semifinals at Darul Makmur Stadium on Saturday.
The Elephants are favourites to win this tie with a superior line-up and an expected capacity home backing.
But PKNP have proven to be a resilient side, and won’t mind the underdog tag as they aim to cause an upset.
Photo credit: PKNS Facebook