KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor's change of coach makes them a bit more unpredictable as they prepare to face Klang Valley derby rivals Kuala Lumpur in the FA Cup quarter-finals first leg in Cheras on Saturday.
KL coach Fabio Maciel's side lost to Selangor, who were then under P. Maniam, 2-0 in the opening Super League match of the season but the Red Giants then suffered a loss of form with three consecutive Super League defeats.
Selangor have since promoted assistant coach Nazliazmi Nasir to the top job after he ended the losing run with a 3-1 win over Terengganu in the third round of the FA Cup.
Maciel expects Saturday's game to be more open compared to their previous meeting, when Selangor scored with their only two shorts of the game despite KL dominating possession.
"They will change their game because they have a new coach, who will have his own way to play," said Maciel after Wednesday's training session in Cheras.
"We will be prepared for them because it is a derby and it will be an open game. Whatever system they use we will have to be prepared to explore their weaknesses, attack and block their strong their points.
"We know it will be a tough game, it is 50-50 and open for both sides. We have to play an intelligent game because it is only the first leg on Saturday with one more game to come."
Three-time FA Cup champions KL are on a three-game unbeaten run in all competitions, including a penalty shootout success over Melaka in the last round of the FA Cup.
Maciel also welcomed Zaquan Adha Radzak, Irfan Zakaria and Syazwan Andik Ishak back from national duty with all three players featuring prominently in Malaysia's 7-0 win over Bhutan on Sunday.
"We have a full week to work with the three players back from the national team and their confidence is high at the moment," said Maciel, looking to lead KL into the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 2005.
"Irfan is an important player for us because we can use him in two positions, either in midfield or defence. It's important for me because I can change the system during the game without having to change players."
Selangor and KL have won the FA Cup eight times between them but the city side have managed just four draws in 13 meetings since their last win over their derby rivals in the 2007 Malaysia Cup.