BY OOI KIN FAI Follow on Twitter
Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) will be picking up on their the travel mileage when the Super League resumes for the second half of the season in May.
The current 2017 league season has two more rounds of fixtures before the midway point of the season but regional commitment in the AFC Cup has made JDT's first half fixtures slighty lopsided on the home side.
As things stands before the matches in Round 10 on the 15 April, JDT has already played six home matches and only three away matches. One of each in their next two fixtures, will put them at the halfway juncture with seven home matches and four away matches.
That would mean when the league resumes for all the return fixtures, there will be a fair bit of traveling involved for the Southern Tigers. Benjamin Mora will have to take his team to seven away matches, with only four home league matches.
Should the reigning league champions make it through to the next stage of the AFC Cup, it is bound to put a severe strain on the bodies of the JDT players in the second half of the year. More time could afforded on recovery, which conversely limits the time Mora has to work his team on the tactical side of things.
One point separates JDT and Pahang at the time of writing and Mora's team could ill-afford not to get maximum points from their remaining two fixtures before the midway point. With trips to Pahang, Selangor and Kedah still to go in the second half of the season, JDT will need all the gap that they can build before then.
In a similar but exactly the opposite fashion, Melaka United will have more home games in the second part of the season compared to their first. Seven home games from May onwards, will give the Mousedeers every chance in the world to escape the drop.
The schedule for the other teams are less affected and more evenly balanced. The final fixture in Round 22 that sees JDT going to Darul Aman Stadium to play Kedah in October, is already looking like a mouth-watering title decider.
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