By K.RAJAN – PETALING JAYA: Perak are going through an injury crisis and will throw in their youngsters against high-riding Selangor in their Super League match at the TLDM Stadium in Lumut today.
Four first choice players – French striker Karim Rouani (hamstring), skipper Shahrulnizam Mustapha (ankle surgery), striker S. Chanturu (knee) and defender V. Thirumurugan (knee) – are injured and Seladang coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah has no choice but to put his youngsters in the fray.
“I’ll be banking on the President’s Cup players to rise to the occasion,” said the 61-year-old Azraai.
Perak were the dominant force in age-group competitions last season, winning the Under-23 President’s Cup and the Under-21 Youth Cup.
Striker Khairul Asyraf Shaizah was the hero in Perak’s President’s Cup triumph, scoring 11 goals.
Azraai will throw Khairul in the forwardline to partner 2011 Golden Boot winner Abdul Hadi Yahya and Mohd Failee Mohd Ghazali.
Perak are lying sixth in the 12-team league with six points from four matches.
Azraai believes Perak face a daunting task against second-placed Selangor.
“I’d be happy with a draw. Selangor are on a high after ending Pahang’s unbeaten run last Saturday,” conceded Azraai.
Azraai is likely to employ a hit-and-run strategy.
“We will be try to hit them with fast counter-attacks. I hope to see the youngsters make an impact in the match,” said Azraai.
Azraai added that he would only have his full squad after the international break in February.
“All my injured players are only scheduled to return in February. We have to hang on until then,” he said.
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