Felda Utd look to Thiago in MSL as they aim for ninth unbeaten game
Coach B. Satiananthan says high-flying Felda United are not a one-man team, despite a red-hot Thiago Augusto being in the scoring form of his life, ahead of Saturday night's Malaysia Super League (MSL) match away to Perak.
Augusto will again be a key man in the battle between the sides, who face off just four days after their 1-1 draw in the Malaysia Cup on Tuesday.
Thiago has eight goals in the last six games. But Satia says the team aren't overly reliant on the striker, who's in his second spell with the club.
"We have others like Wan Zack Haikal and Zah Rahan (Krangar) who are also playing an important part in the team's great run so far," Satia told ESPN FC.
"But Thiago has been a real asset for me. Besides his goals and hold-up play, he has also learnt to defend, which has given the team a different dimension.
"I told him when he re-signed for us, that I have faith in his abilities and hoped he would continue in the same vein. He has repaid that faith to date."
After leaving the Pahang-based outfit in 2016, the Brazilian signed for Bahrain club Manama Club before Felda brought back the man who was their top scorer in 2015.
Satia's side are only two points shy off second-placed Kedah in fourth after an eight-game unbeaten run.
But they are likely to face Perak at Shah Alam Stadium without Zah Rahan, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Hadin Azman.
Meanwhile, MSL leaders Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) will be expecting another three points when they take on T-Team in Kuala Terengganu.
With an 11-point lead at the top, a fourth consecutive title is within the sights of the Southern Tigers. The erratic Titans, meanwhile, have won only once in their last five matches.
Kedah must win away to Penang to keep alive their MSL hopes, but the latter will be buoyed after beating Melaka United 3-2 last week.
Zainal Abidin Hassan's men are well rested after missing out on the Malaysia Cup, so Kedah will be made to work for the three points.
Selangor, who are unbeaten since the resumption of the MSL on July 1, take on Kelantan at Selayang Stadium.
Other matches will see Pahang host Melaka United, while Sarawak entertain PKNS FC.
Malaysia Super League (Saturday)
Perak vs. Felda United
Sarawak vs. PKNS FC
Penang vs. Kedah
Pahang vs. Melaka United
T-Team vs. JDT
Selangor vs. Kelantan
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.