The clash at Selayang Stadium looks like the decider for who between Selangor and JDT will finish top of Group D
Expected to be the two teams that will dominate Group D of the 2017 Malaysia Cup, Selangor and Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) will go head-to-head in Tuesday night’s clash at Selayang Stadium. A fiery clash to determine the outright leader of the group, Goal runs through what is at stake before this all-important match.
State of play
After two rounds of matches played, both teams are tied on four points after a draw and a win each. Terengganu trails behind on two points while Sarawak sit at the bottom of the table having failed to pick up a single point thus far. Coincidentally, both teams could only managed respective draws against Terengganu earlier in the group. Neither teams have suffered any defeat in the past five matches in all competitions, leading up to this match.
What happened in the league
They have only met once this season back in February in Johor Bahru where Selangor held JDT to a 0-0 draw. That was only the fourth round of fixtures in the Super League when JDT was still under the care of Benjamin Mora while P. Maniam was still finding his way with his Selangor side.
Selangor will be able to welcome back the services of Amri Yahya, Andik Vermansah and Razman Roslan who were all suspended in their last match against Kedah at the weekend. However, Maniam will be without key duo in Adam Nor Azlin and Syahmi Safari who are both with the national Under-22 squad in Bangkok.
A similar scenario for the away side who will have Azrif Nasrulhaq, Fazly Mazlan and Amirulhadi Zainal back available for selection. Ulisses Morais may yet duplicate what he did when JDT faced Terengganu and make wholesale changes to his team that defeat Sarawak last Saturday.
It’s the start of two consecutive home games for Selangor and without the travelling concerns to worry about, Maniam could opt for his best XI as they look to stamp their mark in the group. It’s the opposite for JDT who have to travel to Kuala Terengganu after this to face T-Team this coming Saturday.
The inclusion of Natxo Insa has brought about an added dimension to JDT’s game with the former Levante man taking to slotting in central midfield for the Southern Tigers like he has played there all his life. His drive and ability to find space will be a nuisance to the likes of Saiful Ridzuwan and S. Veenod.
It all depends on which JDT that Morais will field. If it’s the one that faced Sarawak in the last match, then the reigning Super League champions are undoubtedly the favourites heading into the match but if it’s the side that lined-up against Terengganu, the Red Giants may well find themselves starting the match as the unlikely favourites to lead the group after the end of this round of gropu fixtures.