Kuala Lumpur: Excitement is building for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup final, where 2010 champions Malaysia will face 2008 winners Vietnam with the first leg to take place at Bukit Jalil Stadium on Tuesday.

Both sides have enjoyed successful years and boast a number of stars who will be looking to shine during the two-legged showpiece event as they aim to lead their nation to regional glory.

Ahead of the big kick-off, we’ve picked out three Malaysian players who will be key if the Harimau Malaya are to lift their second AFF Suzuki Cup title.

Mohamadou Sumareh

Having only made his international debut earlier in the year, Mohamadou Sumareh has fitted seamlessly into an ever-improving side. Boasting boundless energy, no Malaysian player has won more duels or tackles than the forward.

Sumareh was a constant thorn in the Thailand backline during the semi-finals, with the holders struggling to deal with his direct approach. More of the same will be required if Malaysia are to trouble the tournament’s strongest defensive unit.

Safawi Rasid

The talented 21-year-old has risen to fame over the past 12 months, having starred at both the AFC U23 Championship in China and the Asian Games in Indonesia but has arguably yet to hit his best form in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

However, Safawi has more shots on goal and more shots on target than any other player on his team, and the forward continues to exude confidence on the ball. The final would be the perfect stage for him to again showcase his talents and, if he does, it could spell trouble for Vietnam.

Norshahrul Idlan

No player still remaining in the competition has scored more than the five goals Norshahrul Idlan has to his name, with the striker registering in four of his six games, including the winner in the opening match against Cambodia and the decisive goal against Thailand.

Norshahrul will likely lead the line against Vietnam and will be tasked with breaching a defence that has conceded just two goals so far. The 32-year-old scored in the semi-finals against Vietnam four years ago and will look to do likewise now the stakes are even higher.