Darren Goon previews the final round of the Malaysian Super League by examining the key points of each fixture...
Will Selangor play the bridesmaid again?
Selangor PKNS vs. Selangor | Wednesday June 25 | 8.45pm
As both teams share the same stadium, Selangor are essentially playing at home and will be extra motivated to clinch the championship in front of their fans. PKNS have nothing to play for anymore and should not pose much of a threat for the Red Giants that recovered from a recent blip with a 3-0 win over Sarawak thanks to Paulo Rangel’s triumphant return. Although the Golden Boot is within the Brazilian's grasp, personal glory will take a backseat to Selangor’s quest for their first league title (and trophy) since 2010. However, their title prospects hinge on bettering JDT’s result, and everyone in Shah Alam Stadium will be nervously checking for score updates until the final whistle.
Can the Crocs spoil JDT’s party?
Sarawak vs. JDT | Wednesday June 25 | 8.45pm
It’s in their hands. Tunku Ismail Idris’ two-year venture with JDT might immediately bear fruit as they travel to Sarawak, knowing that a win is all they need to secure their first league title. He has assembled a team of winners, but will they be able to handle the pressure? Other than a surprise defeat to ATM, they have brushed aside most teams with ferocious attacking displays so far. Sarawak will not be easy opponents, but the home team are winless in three games and might be overwhelmed by JDT, particularly with Luciano Figueroa returning to scoring ways. Nazrin Nawi and Amirulhadi Zainal justified their selection against Kelantan with a goal apiece, but Bojan Hodak might bring back Jorge Diaz and Amri Yahyah to the starting eleven to seal the deal.
Will Fitri Omar play again against Terengganu?
Kelantan vs. Terengganu | Wednesday June 25 | 8.45pm
It says a lot about the exciting finish to this season’s Super League that the only final day fixture without anything major riding on it is the clash between its 4th and 5th-placed teams. Kelantan will face a Terengganu side powered by the best away attack in the league with their former winger, Norfarhan Muhammad scoring in his last three matches. The talking point, however, will be about Fitri Omar, who unfortunately cost the Red Warriors their earlier encounter back in March when he was fielded against the Turtles despite being suspended for that match. Due to that, Terengganu were awarded with a 3-0 win. While he cannot be fully blamed for that technical issue, Fitri will want to make amends to it.
Will the Titans tame the listless Lions?
T-Team vs. LionsXII | Wednesday June 25 | 8.45pm
Of all the affected teams, T-Team have the best chance of escaping relegation as they host a LionsXII side sitting just a point above them. The Titans will have to do better than their last two outings, which ended in draws. Patrich Wanggai has two goals in three games and will look to combine with Jimmy Mulisa to keep his team in the league. The Lions are on a relegation-worthy run of form (seven points from a possible 30) and have lost their last four away games, rolling over to basement dwellers PKNS and Perak in their recent matches. What’s one more, eh?
Can ATM cap their good form by defeating their bogey team?
ATM vs. Sime Darby | Wednesday June 25 | 8.45pm
ATM have done well to climb off the foot of the table with a wonderful run of form that included wins over giants Selangor and JDT. In fact, their last four games were against the top four, and they emerged unbeaten with eight points to the good. So, they should have the momentum and confidence to take down Sime Darby to preserve their top flight status. Fabrice Noel is their in-form player, having notched a goal and four assists in his last three matches. Although the Gladiators are winless against Sime Darby in the last four matches in all competitions, they still stand a chance because the Planters’ away form has been less than stellar lately.
Will Perak’s proud record of playing the most top flight seasons come to an end?
Perak vs. Pahang | Wednesday June 25 | 8.45pm
Already in the relegation zone, a resurgent Perak have the toughest chance of escaping as they face Pahang. However, they entertain the FA Cup winners having lost only two of their last eight games. Part of a revitalised attack that have scored 15 goals in those eight games is Nigerian Abdulafees Abdulsalam, who has two goals and an assist in his last two games. As for the Elephants, they are guaranteed third spot and will just be playing for pride. However, Zainal Abidin Hassan will want his team to go all out to gain momentum for their upcoming Malaysia Cup defence.
(Photo Credit: www.asiana.my)