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AFC Champions League

JDT ramps up ACL prep with Dubai tour

09:25 EAT 18/01/2020
Safawi Rasid, Kedah v Johor Darul Ta'zim, Malaysia Cup final, 2 Nov 2019
With the opening match of the 2020 AFC Champions League match on the horizon, Johor Darul Ta'zim takes their pre-season training to the next stage.

The six-time consecutive Malaysia Super League champions are not doing their usual pre-season in Thailand like they have done in seasons past because of the 2020 AFC U23 Championship currently being held there.

Instead, JDT have gone a little further than accustomed to with Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) being the destination and they will be continuing their preparations with five friendly matches there.

Riga FC (20 Jan), Al Fujairah (23 Jan), Turkmenistan (26 Jan), MSK Zilina (29 Jan) and Emirates FC (30 Jan) concludes a two-week training stint in the Middle East.

Obviously being Dubai at this time of the year which coincides with the winter break in almost all of the European leagues means that JDT were able to arrange matches with teams who are also preparing in UAE.

While 10 other teams in the Super League will only play their first competitive match at the end of February, JDT alongside Kedah have to get their players fit and ready for a much earlier time of the the month.

A trip to Kobe to play Vissel on 12 February awaits, with that match against the 2019 Emperor's Cup winners kicking off JDT's campaign in the AFC Champions League group stage for the second straight year.

Before JDT could even think about playing Kedah in the opening Super League match on 28 February, The Southern Tigers have the small matter of Guangzhou Evergrande visiting Sultan Ibrahim Stadium on 19 February.

With only the inclusion of Liridon Krasniqi to the otherwise unchanged first team squad, the onus is on Benjamin Mora and his coaches to focus more on fitness rather than building up on-pitch understandings.


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