Malaysia Cup Preview: Round 3 fixtures

Six teams go in search of their first wins of the competition while pointless Kedah will be counting on home support to help them get off the mark

Malaysia Cup, Round 3 Fixtures (all matches at 8.45p.m. unless stated):

Group A

Johor v Lions XII – Tan Sri Dato Hj Hassan Yunos Stadium

These longtime rivals will be hoping to get one over each other in this spicy encounter where form usually goes out of the window.

Hosts Johor will rely on in-form Argentine Muriel Orlando to continue scoring the goals for them as they go in search of their first win. Captain Nazrulerwan Makmor will sit out this match after his red card in the last game.

Lions XII will arrive in Johor Bahru buoyed by their convincing 3-1 win over PKNS FC in Round 2. Coach V.Sundramoorthy looks set to continue with his new strike partnership of Khairul Amri and Shahril Ishak after both players netted against PKNS.

PKNS FC v Johor FC – Petaling Jaya Stadium

Johor FC’s last visit to Petaling Jaya ended in their favour when they won a league match 2-1 and will be hoping for a repeat this time around.

The home side is hopeful of having first choice goalkeeper Hafidz Romly back after he missed the Singapore game due to an illness, while midfielder Riduwan M’aon is definitely out for the visitors as a result of his red card against Johor the last time out.

Group B

ATM v Kelantan – Selayang Stadium

ATM are the only team to have collected full points so far and will be aiming for another win when they take on Kelantan in this battle of the champions.

The Gladiators are strengthened by the return of their foreign players Marlon Alex James and Bruno Sebastian Martelotto from suspensions and the duo will again be the key to ATM’s hopes of overcoming Kelantan.

For Kelantan, goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and Muhammad Ghaddar remain doubtful but The Red Warriors must have been boosted by the form shown by Afiq Azmi, their loan striker who grabbed both the goals in the 2-1 win over Kedah.

Be sure to catch this match on Astro Arena!

Kedah v Terengganu – Darul Aman Stadium

Former champions Kedah remain the only pointless team in the competition after losing both their games and must aim for a win in this fixture to stay in touch with the other teams in the group.

A key player for Kedah is midfielder Baddrol Bakhtiar. The 24-year-old will be the one the team turns to for inspiration and new head coach Mario Tot will be hoping that Baddrol has one of his better games for Kedah tomorrow.

Terengganu’s abysmal record in Alor Setar will be coach Peter Butler’s main worry ahead of their visit. The east coast outfit had failed to take a single point off this fixture since 2006. The Turtles will however welcome goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee back for this encounter after he collapsed on the field and was rushed to the hospital during their last game, due to an allergic reaction.

Group C

Negeri Sembilan v Perak – Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium

Perak could not have picked a worse time to meet the reigning champions after their surprise 4-2 home defeat to Felda United last weekend. Negeri thrashed Sime Darby 4-0 in Paroi on the same night. Perak fans will be praying for defender K.Nanthakumar to be re-instated to the first eleven to deal with the threat posed by Jean Effa Owona, after being omitted altogether by coach Jang Jung from the team that lost to Felda.

Felda United v Sime Darby FC – Hang Jebat Stadium

Felda are on a high after their great result in Ipoh and will look forward to playing fellow club team Sime Darby, who have decided to kick out striker Patrick ‘Ronaldinho’ Wleh after some lackluster performances. With the odds heavily stacked against them, can Sime Darby spring an upset in Malacca?

Group D

T-Team v Selangor – Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium

Both teams have only one point to show after the first two matches and will be desperate to record their first win tomorrow.

The Selangor players are under pressure from the management following their failure to claim a win after two games. Coach Irfan Bakti will be hoping his troops can duplicate their last result at this venue, a 2-1 victory in a league match.

T-Team on the other hand will be weakened by the absence of key defender Bojan Petric through suspension and Fadzli Saari, who is out injured.

This match will be broadcast live on RTM 1!

Pahang v Sarawak – Darul Makmur Stadium

The only two unbeaten teams in the group will go head to head in Kuantan, in search of another positive result. Both teams have the same goal difference and will come into the match with full strength squads, so expect the finest of details to decide the outcome of this battle.