Saturday, 2 May 2015

Safuwan Baharudin in line for shock Malaysia Super League start for LionsXII

Singapore international Safuwan Baharudin is in line for a shock Malaysia Super League (MSL) start for LionsXII at Sime Darby on Saturday night, despite cutting short his A-League loan spell because of injury.

Safuwan returned from Melbourne City last Sunday with a back complaint and was expected to be out for several weeks. But the 23-year-old utility player has been training with LionsXII this week and is set to partner Zulfahmi Arifin in central defence, with the Singapore side lacking defensive cover because of suspension, injuries and international commitments.

LionsXII registered Safuwan for the remainder of the MSL season this week and are likely to throw him into action, despite his injury.

"It is either a nerve or a disc problem at the back and the main concern is if it is the nerve that is bothering me," he told the Straits Times.

"Right now, I don't feel the pain but I just have to manage it. I have had worse injuries. I am just keeping myself hydrated and ensuring I eat the right food."

During his three-month long A-League stint, Safuwan played six games for Melbourne City and scored two goals.

Aiming for the first away win of their 2015 season, LionsXII will be missing Faris Ramli, Sahil Suhaimi, Christopher van Huizen and Zakir Samsudin for the trip to the Klang Valley. The four young guns are training with the Singapore U23 team ahead of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football competition, starting later this month.

Safuwan, who scored two goals in his six game loan spell with Melbourne City, said he aimed to continue his scoring run.

"I am hoping to get on the scoresheet tonight and help the team win more games," he said. "I am very excited to be back and I want to build on what I had left behind at LionsXII. I miss Melbourne but that is history now and this is another new chapter for me."

Ironically, Safuwan's former club, Melbourne City, play one day after LionsXII in the A-League elimination final against Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand on Sunday.

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