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Malaysia Cup: Group A - Team, history, schedule and prediction

07:32 SAST 2019/08/01
Malaysia Cup 2019 Group A
All you need to know about the 2019 Malaysia Cup Group A that sees Kedah, Terengganu FC, PKNS FC and Negeri Sembilan duke it out for 2 knockout spots.

Group A sees three former Malaysia Cup champions in Kedah, Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan joined by PKNS in a battle to finish among the top two spots after six rounds of matches to see who advances to the quarterfinal stage of the oldest cup competition in Malaysia.

Who are the Teams

Kedah

The recently crowned 2019 Malaysia FA Cup champions are on a high and will undoubtedly start the group as the favourites to reach the next stage of the competition. In just seven months, Aidil Sharin has managed to mould a winning group of players who are hungry for even more success.

Led by the evergreen Baddrol Bakhtiar, Kedah has a good mix of experienced and young players that Aidil can use. Renan Alves will be back available in defence for The Red Eagles while the blossoming partnership of Edgar Bernhardt and David Rowley gives Kedah a very effective midfield as they will look to reach their third Malaysia Cup final in five years.

Terengganu FC

Lacklustre outings in the Super League and FA Cup this season has led to the departure of much-loved head coach Irfan Bakti. The team is now under the helm of Nafuzi Zain who was previously the assistant head coach. While still considered to be very young, Nafuzi is held in great esteem within the game and this competition will be the first real test of his quality as a coach.

In Lee Tuck, Tchetche Kipre and Sanjar Shaakhmedov; TFC has a trio of quality import players who are the fulcrum of their attacking prowess. Defence can be a little shaky but if their 2-2 draw against Johor Darul Ta'zim in their last match is any indication, Nafuzi has plenty to work with to compete.

PKNS FC

It has been a disappointing season thus far for K. Rajagopal's team. A lowly finish in the league coupled with an early exit in the FA Cup does not make for good viewing for The Red Ants. Another team with defensive issues, Rajagopal has thus far struggled to find consistency to the back four in terms of personnel and performance.

Yet, there's much to cheer up front as Kpah Sherman emerged as the top scorer of the Super League this season. The Liberian is effective in front of goal and he is ably supported by Romel Morales and the enigmatic Gabriel Guerra. 

Negeri Sembilan

NS were in the running to gain promotion from the Premier League to the Super League up to the final day of fixture but ultimately failed to achieve their target. However the work of Mat Zan Mat Aris cannot be overlooked as he had managed to make NS compete again unlike past seasons.

Veteran Norhafiz Zamani Misbah is the leader in the team while up front Igor Luiz and Almir Neto shares 15 goals between them from the league campaign. Local striker Ferris Danial has also chipped in with his fair share of four goals in the league.

How did they fare in the league 

Kedah - 4th in Super League

Terengganu FC - 7th in Super League

PKNS FC - 9th in Super League

Negeri Sembilan - 6th in Premier League

How is their Malaysia Cup history

Kedah - Champions in 2016, 2008, 2007, 1993, 1990

Terengganu FC - Champions in 2001

PKNS FC - Quarterfinalist in 2018

Negeri Sembilan - Champions in 2011, 2009

Fixtures (up to MD3)

2 Aug Terengganu FC v PKNS FC
3 Aug Negeri Sembilan v Kedah
7 Aug Negeri Sembilan v PKNS FC
8 Aug Kedah v Terengganu FC
16 Aug PKNS FC v Kedah
17 Aug Terengganu FC v Negeri Sembilan

Prediction

Given how all four teams have performed this season, it will be hard to see past Kedah and TFC taking the top two spots and advancing to the quarterfinals.

 

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