2014 Malaysia Cup team preview: PDRM

Can the 2014 Premier League champions aim to win their first Malaysia Cup as a going-away present for outgoing head coach Dollah Salleh?

PDRM

Home Ground: MBPJ Stadium, Petaling Jaya

Nickname: The Cops

Premier League: 1st

FA Cup: Quarter-finals

Last Season's Malaysia Cup: Did not participate

What happened in the league?

They swept all before them. PDRM sat pretty at the top of the league for all but two rounds and scored 63 goals in 22 games, averaging almost three goals a game. They also held the M-League’s longest unbeaten run – 19 games.

The perception

Tremendous power up front. Ali Ashfaq and Charles Chad Souza have been two of the M-League’s best imports this season, ably supported by national striker Bobby Gonzales.

The reality

The perception is exactly true. PDRM scored two goals or more on 18 occasions (out of 22 matches), including 7-1 thrashings of Perlis and KL SPA. Ashfaq, Souza, and Gonzales scored 41 league goals between them.

Credit: www.asiana.my

Strengths

Clearly, their attacking prowess, but PDRM’s fighting spirit is strong as well. Their never-say-die attitude saw them score late a few times in the league to either salvage a draw or snatch a victory.

Weaknesses

Their defenders are prone to lapses in concentration. Despite conceding just 23 goals – the fewest in the league – they kept only six clean sheets. The uncertainty surrounding Dollah Salleh’s recent appointment as national team head coach might also affect them.

The player to watch

Ali Ashfaq. The Maldives’ captain scored 17 league goals (two behind Golden Boot winner Edward Wilson of Felda United), including two hat-tricks. His total would have been higher if he did not miss several games due to suspension and national team commitments.

The boss

PDRM are the fourth different team Dollah Salleh has led to Premier League glory, and he will look to win his fourth Malaysia Cup with them as well. It remains to be seen if his role with the national team will affect his club duties.

Group stage fixtures

Aug 14 – Sime Darby (A)

Aug 20 – Selangor (A)

Aug 23 – T-Team (H)

Aug 27 – T-Team (A)

Aug 30 – Selangor (H)

Sep 3 – Sime Darby (H)

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