BY NIK AFIQ Follow on Twitter
The draw for TM Malaysia Cup 2016 took place last night with 16 teams in the tournament finding out who they will face to fight for the prestigious trophy.
16 teams were divided into four groups, and the tournament will start after Aidilfitri, and the matches will simultaneously take place with Super League matches.
Interesting matches are set to take place in this year’s Malaysia Cup, as the fans will have a chance to see Klang-Valley Derby, and a repeat of 2016 FA Cup final.
Group A consists of T-Team, Kedah, Sarawak and JDT II and each team will have a lot of work to do as all teams will travel all corners of the country to complete the matches. The in-form T-Team and last year’s finalist Kedah looks favourite to qualify for the next round, but the strength of JDT II cannot be underestimate, and the resurgence of Sarawak in the last couple of matches should not gone unnoticed.
Already being dubbed as the ‘Group of Death’ by some of the fans, Group B will see the battle of two derbies. The return of Kuala Lumpur, three times champion will see a Klang-Valley derby face-off with defending champion and record 33-times winner Selangor. Group B will also see the battle between two east-coast giants, Pahang and Kelantan as both teams look to bounce back after disappointing starts in the league. It will also be interesting to see Zainal Abidin Hassan take on his former team Pahang in the Malaysia Cup, as well as the battle between Selangor and Kelantan, with Selangor recently defeated the Red Warriors 5-2 in Kota Bharu.
FA Cup champions, JDT will see familiar faces in Group C matches as they are drawn with FA Cup finalist PKNS FC in that group. Nicknamed as The Giant Killer, PKNS FC and JDT are surely favourites to qualify from this group. The group will also see two Singaporeans and former Lions XII players, Safwan Baharudin of PDRM and Harris Harun go head to head, as both of them played key roles during Lions XII winning season in 2013. The final member of Group C is Perak, who lost to PKNS FC earlier in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Two top teams from the Premier League, Melaka United and Negeri Sembilan are in Group D, together with high-flying Felda United and Terengganu. MPL leader, Melaka United could be the surprise package in the tournament this year after missing out in the tournament in 2009. Felda United is also another favourite to make it to the next round after great performances so far in the league. Terengganu is determined to put behind their poor form in the league behind while Negeri Sembilan is eager to win the tournament in which they last won five years ago.
The full list of Malaysia Cup 2016 Group Stage
Group A: T-Team, Kedah, Sarawak, JDT II
Group B: Selangor, Kelantan, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur
Group C: JDT, PDRM, Perak, PKNS FC
Group D: Felda United, Terengganu, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan.