It’s that time of year again – it’s time for some football! The 2016 Malaysia Super League (MSL) season is about to commence.
Welcome back MSL, you’ve been missed.
The Malaysia Super League (MSL) is back, promising an even more exciting battle as 11 clubs attempt to dethrone back-to-back winners Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).
Say goodbye to quiet, football-free weekends – for the next eight months at least.
Two months since the last kick was taken in the Malaysia Cup final between Selangor and Kedah, the 2016 season resumes with a mouth-watering opener involving AFC Cup winners JDT and Selangor at Larkin Stadium on February 13.
What is in store? A drama filled season once again, only this time with more teams looking like genuine title contenders.
Last year, only Pahang gave JDT a run for their money in the league. Terengganu, Selangor and Felda United struggled to find their footing over the course of the season.
This time, the wheeling and dealing of players hasn’t been rampant and you get the feeling Malaysian teams have finally learnt their lesson – it is wiser to strengthen last season’s squad instead of building from scratch over and over again.
Among the bigger teams, only Pahang had a raft of first team regulars depart, with head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan leading an exodus to Selangor. Felda, Terengganu and JDT only made a handful of changes.
The Red Giants have retained all but two members – Guilherme de Paula and Leandro dos Santos – of their Malaysia Cup line-up. The new additions – Khairul Azhan Khalid, Razman Roslan, Hafiz Kamal and R. Gopinathan – make Selangor appear the most complete side in the MSL after JDT.
The foreign players have brought nothing but excitement to the MSL and teams were cautious in picking their imports this time around, some even leaving it until very late to make their final decisions.
All signs point to an exciting season and to get you prepared for the season, FourFourTwo will preview each MSL team with exclusive interviews, special features and transfers. Keep coming back as it will be updated each day this week.
We have spoken to the coaches and a star player from every club, reached out to football fanatics in the country and identified players that could have a break out year for their respective teams in 2016.
On top of that, our writers have pin-pointed where the league could be won or lost, who the golden boot contenders are, the best foreign talents and who needs a big year. So read on...
Johor Darul Ta'zim
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