Block your calendar, peeps – here are the Malaysian Super League matches that you definitely don’t want to miss this season.
Johor Darul Ta'zim vs Pahang
January 31st @ Tan Sri Dato' Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium
The league champions do battle with the FA Cup and Malaysia Cup double winners for the Charity Shield (and three points) – the first match of the season really cannot get any better than that. Playing at home, JDT are the favourites to emerge victorious, but Pahang were their bogey team last year as they were unbeaten for five matches against the Southern Tigers in all competitions. Coupled with JDT’s crucial AFC Champions League qualifier in just a few days’ time, it will be interesting to see how Bojan Hodak is planning to shuffle his team to cope with the situation.
Selangor vs Johor Darul Ta'zim
February 21st @ Shah Alam Stadium
Last season’s top two do not have to wait long to square off, as they will go head-to-head on the third gameweek. JDT won this fixture 1-0 last season, which was arguably the turning point of the title race. With that in mind, this match will be important for Mehmet Durakovic and his men to show that they have the strength of character to challenge for the Super League title.
Johor Darul Ta'zim vs ATM
April 4th @ Tan Sri Dato' Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium
In the days leading up to this match, we guarantee that the headlines will be dominated by a single player: Norshahrul Idlan Talaha. The new ATM striker was the biggest name released by the Super League champions after failing to perform consistently last season, and will be determined to prove his former employers wrong. On the other hand, JDT will approach this match with caution, as the Gladiators were the only team that defeated them in the league since Bojan Hodak took over as well as one of the two teams to take four points off them (the other one was Pahang).
Terengganu vs Kelantan
April 4th @ Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium
Nor Farhan Muhammad will be meeting his old team for the first time after re-joining his older (?) team, but that will not be the main focus of the day. An East Coast derby between Terengganu and Kelantan has always been an exciting match for the fans, and this match-up will not be any different. Putting everything aside, the Red Warriors will be carefully and thoroughly checking the availability of their players this time.
Sarawak vs Sime Darby
April 11th @ Sarawak Stadium
Despite being separated by the South China Sea, it tends to be a heated affair when Sarawak and Sime Darby face off due to a rivalry that was born two years ago, when both sides competed for the Premier League title. Need proof? The same fixture last season saw the Crocs winning 3-0 with two Sime Darby players getting sent off, while the reverse fixture was equally entertaining as the Giant Killers came from 2-0 down to win 3-2. If those matches are anything to go by, the fans will be in for a treat.