The Malaysian Super League champions will welcome the visit of the Malaysian Premier League side in their Group D opener as they embark on their quest for a Double
The LionsXII's quest for the Malaysia Cup will begin on August 20 against Malaysia Premier League (MPL) side Kedah at the Jalan Besar Stadium, before they travel to Kuching to face MPL champions Sarawak four days later.
It will be a packed and grueling schedule for V. Sundramoorthy's side as the first four matches will be played within 11 days before there is a break in early September, during which the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers will be played.
But the Malaysian Super League (MSL) champions can take heart that two of their away matches will be on a Saturday, which bodes well for the players who are currently serving their National Service as they should be available without the need to take leave.
The LionsXII will be eager to go further than their previous Malaysia Cup campaign, where they were seconds from advancing to the final. That was until Marlon Alex James equalised for ATM in the dying seconds to force extra-time, and the Singapore-based club eventually lost out on penalties.
Preparations for the campaign have long started for the LionsXII, who made use of the long Ramadhan break to plot their strategies.
“Although it is the fasting month, we do continue with our training and getting ready for the Malaysia Cup," centreback Baihakki Khaizan told Goal Singapore.
“We also focused on our fitness and the tempo [of training] is very high now.
“The team has sat down and discussed this together and to train just after we break our fast is just nice for us.”
LionsXII Malaysia Cup Group Stage Fixtures
Aug 20 (Tuesday) vs Kedah – H
Aug 24 (Saturday) vs Sarawak – A
Aug 27 (Tuesday) vs Perak – A
Aug 31 (Saturday) vs Perak – H
Sep 18 (Wednesday) vs Sarawak – H
Sep 21 (Saturday) vs Kedah - A
*Home matches will be played at the Jalan Besar Stadium at 7.45p.m while away matches will kick off at 8.45p.m.