LionsXII skipper Shahril raring to go for Johor Darul Takzim clash

The midfielder is gunning for victory against their second-placed opponents as the team look to secure a first league title, although the game is under threat of postponement

Malaysian Super League leaders LionsXII currently stand at the summit on 38 points, four points ahead of their next opponents Johor Darul Takzim, who are currently second in the table.

A win for V. Sundramoorthy's side against the star-studded Darul Takzim will see them open up a seven-point lead at the top with three more matches to go.

Speaking to Goal ahead of the game, captain Shahril Ishak is raring to go and hopes to secure all three points and eventually the league title, which will be his first title with a club side.

“We are excited for the match as it is very important for us and the tickets were sold out a week the game," he said.

“This also shows how important it [the game] is for our fans.

“We [will] treat the last four games as a final for us, and for me I want to win my first league title and the team are looking forward to it too.

“I am waiting for this one and am going all out for it.”

While morale is high, the LionsXII will be missing the suspened Baihakki Khaizan and Hafiz Sujad due to suspension, although Shakir Hamzah escaped a ban after being charged for bringing the game into disrepute by the Football Association of Singapore [FAS].

“Of course it will be good if they can play but we have other players that will step up and I am sure they will give a good performance," he confidently said.

While fans of both teams are eager to watch the match at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday, the worsening haze conditions might force it to be postponed. That scenario might play out should the Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) continue to stay above the 150 level, which is not ideal for outdoor activities.

Although Shahril and his teammate are looking forward to the big clash on Saturday, the 29-year-old fully understands the situation should the match be called off. 

“It’s a shame that we are having this kind of weather now but at the end of the day, we must take it seriously, not only for LionsXII, but of course for all players and fans too and keep everyone safe," he said.

The haze has already forced the postponement of the StarHub League Cup matches in Singapore with both the semi-finals and finals being called off and rescheduled to September.