Nelo Vingada starts work for Malaysia, to monitor midweek MSL matches

New national coach Nelo Vingada will get a first chance to gauge prospective talent when Round 13 of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) takes place on Wednesday night.

Vingada, who was appointed last week, met Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president, the Crown Prince of Johor (JDT) in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, and was already preparing to get down to business.

The first task of the 64-year-old from Portugal will be to pick a squad for the AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Lebanon on June 13, so he will cast an eye on key matches taking place across the country.

The midweek games are the final fixtures before a five-week break for international action and the fasting month of Ramadan.

"Nelo Vingada, who is committed with his new task, will start as soon as possible," read a posting on the FAM Facebook page.

The PKNS-Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) clash at Shah Alam Stadium would be of big interest to the former Saudi Arabia coach, with a host of players from both sides expected to be called up to the national squad.

Among them is JDT captain Safiq Rahim, who has already scored eight league goals this season. Safiq will be looking to add to that tally against PKNS, who are struggling in 10th place in the MSL.

Besides the playmaker, the national audition is on for the likes of Fazly Mazlan, S. Kunanlan, and even youngster Safawi Rasid, as JDT look to increase their six-point lead in the MSL.

At Selayang Stadium, several Pahang players will be pushing for Malaysia selection when they take to the field against Selangor.

Ashaari Shamsuddin, Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria and Ahmad Syamim Yahya could all bolster their chances if Pahang beat Selangor to stay within sight of JDT in equal second.

FA Cup winner Baddrol Bakhtiar, meanwhile, will be confident of adding to his 50 national caps when his Kedah side welcome T-Team to the Darul Aman Stadium.

Baddrol struck a brace against Pahang on Saturday in Kedah's 3-2 victory in the final, and will be confident to repeat that performance against the Titans.

Baddrol's teammate Fitri Omar believes he can solve Malaysia's problems at left-back after impressing against Pahang. Another standout performance will surely put him in contention to add to his three national caps.

Bottom-placed Penang will have another tough battle when they travel to face Kelantan at Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium.

The Red Warriors already have secured a replacement for new JDT recruit Mohammad Ghaddar, with the arrival of another Lebanese striker in Abou Bakr Al-Mel.

Other matches see Felda United hosting Melaka United, while Sarawak travel to Ipoh to face Perak.

MSL Fixtures (Wednesday)

Felda United vs. Melaka United

Kedah vs. T-Team

Kelantan vs. Penang

Perak vs. Sarawak


Selangor vs Pahang