PETALING JAYA: National coach Datuk K. Rajagopal will give the new faces a chance to shine in the friendly match against Kuwait in Kuwait City on Friday.
Among those expected to be fielded is Sarawak striker Bobby Gonzales, who gave a strong showing in the East Malaysian side’s entry into the Malaysia Cup semi-finals.
Centreback Mohd Razman Roslan, who was outstanding with newly-crowned Malaysia Cup champions Pahang, is the other notable player who will be tested in the heart of defence with regular Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak.
This match will be part of Malaysia’s preparations ahead of the crucial Asian Cup qualifying match against Bahrain in Manama on Nov 15. The national team need to win that match to keep their hopes alive of making the cut for the 16-team Finals in Australia in 2015.
In the Asian Cup qualifying campaign, Malaysia have collected four points from three matches and are third in Group D. Bahrain lead the group with seven points and Qatar are second with six. Winless Yemen are at the bottom of the group.
Malaysia lost their opening qualifying match against Qatar 2-0 in Doha in February but bounced back in the second match defeating Yemen 2-1 in Shah Alam. Last month, they held Bahrain to a 1-1 draw in Shah Alam.
The top two teams from the five groups at the end of the home-and-away round robin qualifier will automatically make the Finals while the best third-placed side of the five qualifying groups will join hosts Australia, defending champions Japan, South Korea and North Korea at the 2015 tournament. The other slot will be taken up by the winner of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup.
Mohd Farizal Marlias, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Mahalli Jasuli, Mohd Khyril Muhymeen, S. Kunalan, Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, Safiq Rahim, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Mohd Shakir Shaari, Mohd Safee Sali, Ahmad Fakri Saarani, K. Gurusamy, Mohd Amri Yahyah, Bobby Gonzales, Mohd Hairol Mokhtar, Mohd Azamuddin Akil, Mohd Nizad Ayub, Mohd Farisham Ismail, Amiridzwan Taj, Mohd Razman Roslan, Mohd Nazrin Nawi, Mohd Nazmi Faiz, Mohd Remezey Che Ros, K. Reuben, and Mohd Fitri Omar.