Coach Zainal Abidin Hassan could spring a few surprises when he names his starting-line for the Malaysia Cup final against Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
He insisted that the first XI that demolished Kedah 5-0 in the semifinal second leg were not guaranteed starters after their performance.
He could still make some tactical choices to nullify the threat potentially posed by JDT’s array of attacking players.
“I plan out strategies based on our opponents. We see who are our opponents’ danger man and we field our best suited player to mark that person out,” said Zainal.
“We (the team) have an agreement that we have few players capable of playing in various roles and they would be fielded to fit our tactics. Everyone understands their role in the team.
“Sometimes our best eleven on paper may not be the best line-up to tackle our opponents. We need to make these changes to change the match,” he added.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Friday, both Zainal and JDT head Bojan Hodak said the better defence will win their team the Malaysia Cup.
“We are going to be occupied at the back. The key is defence. If you don’t concede, you can’t lose,” said Zainal
“I don’t think there’ll be many surprises tomorrow (tonight). We have played each other few times and its always close,” said Hodak.
“It will be decided by some mistake or a moment of brilliance. I am not expecting any else.”