Malaysia will be facing the might of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the AFC 2018 World Cup Qualifying game at the Shah Alam Stadium near Kuala lumpur on Monday.
The last time these two sides met, Malaysia were handed a 10-0 drubbing by UAE in September. Malaysia will be looking to avoid yet another thrashing on Monday when they will take on the likes of UAE.
Unfortunately, the match will take place behind closed doors as FIFA has ordered the fans to be locked out of the stadium.
Malaysia was trailing 2-1 against Saudi Arabia in the 88th minute in their last home game when the fans inside the stadium resorted to violence and let off flares on the football pitch. As a result, FIFA handed a 3-0 victory in favour of Saudi Arabia and Football Association of Malaysia were fined $40,000. They were also ordered to host the game between Malaysia and UAE without the presence of supporters inside the stadium.
"Of course we would love to have a stadium full of home fans because it's almost like having a 12th man," Malaysia assistant coach Bradley Maloney was quoted as saying by ESPN FC.
"But the players understand the circumstances and will do their best knowing that the fans will be watching on television."
UAE prepared for the game against Malaysia by whipping Timor Leste 8-0 in Abu Dhabi last week. They have scored 20 goals in five games and currently occupy the second position (three points behind Saudi Arabia) in the points table of their group. Only two teams have scored more than UAE and they are Qatar and China. Also, UAE conceded only twice in this World Cup Qualifying campaign and it will be interesting to see how many goals will UAE score against Malaysia on Monday.
Meanwhile, Malaysia are coming into this game after a 6-0 thrashing by Palestine. Those are seriously not good numbers.
"The team is looking positive despite the result the other night," Maloney added. "We've had several changes forced upon us again so there will be some new players. We've looked at the video and identified areas where we can improve on defensively from the Palestine match."
"The most important thing for the coaching staff is to have improved things since being appointed on an interim basis and hopefully the UAE match will reinforce that."
Where to watch live:
Malaysia vs United Arab Emirates is scheduled for a 8:45 pm local time (6:15pm IST, 4:45 pm UAE, 12:45 GMT & 7:45 am EST) start. For India viewers, there will be no live TV coverage of the World Cup qualifier.
Viewers in Malaysia can watch the game live on Astro Arena.
Audience in United Arab Emirates can watch the game live on beIn Sports Arabia 4 HD and Abu Dhabi Sports 1.
Other Middle-Eastern countries can catch the game live on beIn Sports Arabia 4 HD.