Match Previews

JDT vs Pahang: Rivalry heats up once again as Elephants enjoy resurgence

Malaysia Super League | Larkin Stadium | Fri Mar 3 | 9pm 

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The return of the JDT-Pahang rivalry

The Lowdown

JDT form

  • Sarawak 0-2 JDT (Malaysia Super League)
  • JDT 3-0 T-Team (Malaysia Super League)
  • JDT 3-0 Boeung Ket (AFC Cup)
  • Perak 2-1 JDT (Malaysia Super League)
  • Felda United 0-2 JDT (Malaysia Super League)

Pahang form

  • Pahang 3-0 PKNS (Malaysia Super League)
  • Malacca 1-3 Pahang (Malaysia Super League)
  • Pahang 6-1 Penang (Malaysia Super League)
  • JDT 2-4 (AET) Pahang (FA Cup)
  • Kedah 4-1 Pahang (Malaysia Super League)

Pahang is set renew their animosity with three-time consecutive Malaysia Super League (MSL) winners Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) when they visit Larkin Stadium on Friday .

The Southern Tigers were comfortable winners in the two times the teams met last season, with JDT recording a 3-0 win at home before thumping Pahang 6-0 on their visit to Kuantan.

Pahang were nowhere to be seen in terms of competing for silverware in 2016 after a mass exodus of senior players, but it was not too long ago that both clubs locked horns for silverware.

Pahang and JDT battled closely for the 2015 MSL title and the Elephants won the Malaysia Cup in 2013 and 2014.

The 2017 MSL season promises to bring back those intense battles as the return of Dollah Salleh at Pahang and new signings such as Matheus Alves, Joseph Kalang Tie and Mohamadou Summareh have revived their fortunes.

JDT, meanwhile did not get a good start to the 2017 campaign but seems to be finding their rhythm in recent weeks with three wins in a row – including the dominant 3-0 win over Cambodian champions Boeungket Angkor in the AFC Cup.

Team News

Both teams warmed up for the clash in perfect style, recording comfortable wins in their mid-week matches. Pahang defeated PKNS 3-0 while JDT won 2-0 against Sarawak in Kuching.

Argentine imports Gonzalo Cabrera and Gabriel Guerra is set to support lead striker Ahmad Hazwan Bakri again while JDT coach could be tempted to stick with his midfield trio of skipper Safiq Rahim, Nazmi Faiz Mansor and Afiq Fazail.

JDT could include vice-captain Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak after Junior Eldstal was given a nod ahead of him in previous matches. Another Aidil exclusion could ask questions of his future at the club.

Dollah, meanwhile, is expected to include Kiko Insa and Chinedu Dike after they were only named among the substitutes against PKNS on Tuesday.

Key men: Gabriel Guerra vs Matheus Alves

matheus_alves_-_pahang_-_asiana.my_.jpg

Alves is leading the scoring charts in the MSL

Both forwards have hit the ground running since their respective moves.

Guerra was initially signed for JDT II but was ‘promoted’ to JDT after the transfer window closed under new feeder club regulations.

He scored a hat-trick against T-Team last week to become the first player to do so in both the MSL and Malaysia Premier League (MPL) in the same season.

As integral as Guerra is to JDT’s attack, Alves is banging in the goals for the Elephants.

The 23-year-old Brazilian leads the MSL scoring charts with six goals and has scored in all five of the club’s matches in February – including the 4-2 win over JDT II in the FA Cup.

Facts and Figures

Past five meetings

  • Pahang 0-6 JDT (MSL, May '16)
  • JDT 3-0 Pahang (MSL, May '16)
  • Pahang 1-1 JDT (MSL, Jun '15)
  • Pahang* 1-1 JDT (FA Cup, Mar '15)
  • JDT 2-0 Pahang (MSL, Jan '15)

*Pahang won the match penalties

  • JDT lead the recent head-to-head tally, winning on five occasions compared to Pahang’s four in the last 14 appearances since 2013.

  • Pahang have not won away at JDT since a 4-0 thumping in the 2005 Malaysia Cup group stage while JDT have not lost a home league match since LionsXII visited in April 2012.

  • JDT prevailed both times the teams met in the league in 2016

  • Pahang are the highest scorers in the league with 17 goals in six matches while JDT have managed eight points in four matches.

FourFourTwo’s Prediction

Previous matches between the two have been high scoring and this one sets itself for another round of goals as both teams are firing on all cylinders. JDT to edge out for a 3-2 win.