Kelantan are on the verge of an unprecedented treble this season, but first, there is the small matter that is the top-of-the-table clash with Lions XII on Friday
Kelantan host a resurgent and well rested LionsXII at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium, the visitors coming into this match with a five-point lead at the top of the Malaysian Super League.
But Bojan Hodak’s men are in prime position to take top spot should they win as they have three games in hand due to their Cup commitments. Victory for Kelantan would swing the initiative back to the East Coast outfit, however it is easier said than done.
The Lions have been a roaring success in their travels this season, having only lost once to PKNS FC.
But the Sultan Muhammad stadium is as volatile as it gets, which the Lions are about to find out very soon.
Kelantan fans breathe football through and through, as the sport is one of the few things which excites the locals in a state where entertainment is few and far between.
This match is set to be fuelled further by the fact that Kelantan came from behind against Kedah to book their second consecutive FA Cup final, where they will play underdogs Sime Darby.
The only concern surrounding the team is the physical state of the players. Kelantan’s warriors have been playing almost every two to three days, and Bojan Hodak doesn’t have the luxury of giving his compact squad much rest.
But the euphoria of the FA Cup success is still very much buzzing within the squad, and with such a pivotal game coming up every player will be motivated to put their bodies on the line and claim victory as well as bragging rights.
This match will pit the league’s highest scorers against the meanest defense. Led by the free-scoring Shahril Ishak, the Singaporean outfit will be out the test the resolve of the Kelantan back four who have only conceded 11 goals so far.
Pride is very much at stake, as this match is also billed the ‘Malaysia-Singapore’ clash where football rivalry has stretched back to almost two decades ago.
Expect an intense, no holds barred battle as both these juggernauts locks horns in what is expected to be an exhilarating East Coast-Causeway affair.
The crowd will be Kelantan’s twelfth men; if a bumper 25,000 fans can rally their troops throughout the game Kelantan should hold the extra edge to win this game.