PENANG: Kedah are well-rested. But that's about all the good news they have before they face Malacca Telekom at the Stadium Hang Tuah tomorrow.
Kedah, who had been breathing down league leader Perak, are now running short of players.
Four key players – striker Akmal Rizal Rakhli, defenders Victor Andrag, Irwan Fadli Idrus and goalkeeper Mohd Hilmi Elias – are in Prague, Czech Republic, with the national team.
As though that was not enough, prized striker James Monie is also a doubtful starter as he is down with an ankle injury.
Danish coach Jorgen Larsen, left with only 14 players, was despondent.
“It's a big blow. Three of the four on national duty are first choice players,” said Larsen, in a telephone interview from Alor Star yesterday.
“The absence of Victor, especially, will be most damaging.
“He has developed into a class player and is the backbone of our defence.
“A player of his calibre is difficult to replace. We are going to be badly hurt in due course.”
Monie's injury is also painful.
“Monie injured his ankle injury while working out in our gymnasium a few days ago. He has not been training since,” said Larsen.
“I cannot be sure if he can recover in time for Saturday.
“It will be another cruel blow if he is ruled out,” he finished.