Malaysia Cup semi-finals – 2015 finalists gunning for early advantage at home
Kedah vs PDRM
Fri September 30 | Darul Aman Stadium | 9pm
Last meeting: PDRM 1 Kedah 1 (21 May 2016, MSL)
Form: Kedah – WWWDW; PDRM – LLDWL
The form book favours Kedah, who confirmed third spot in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) behind Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and Felda United, but Tan Cheng Hoe came out in the press last week, saying the 2015 runners-up must not be too confident that the tie is theirs to lose.
PDRM, despite their poor placing in the league, stunned Kelantan in the last-eight and have been difficult to crack all season.
Kedah, however, alongside JDT and Felda are the only team to defeat PDRM by a margin wider than one goal. Only JDT and Felda have found the back of the net against PDRM more than twice in a single match.
The hosts also have strike duo Shane Smeltz and Thiago Fernandes in blistering form after scoring two goals in the 5-0 annihilation of Negri Sembilan in the quarter-final second-leg.
Smelts has five goals to his name while Fernandes has four. Central-midfielder Liridon Krasniqi has four goals in the competition too.
The Cops have not been all too prolific in front of goal, averaging just about a goal every match, but the return of Guilherme de Paula will give Fauzi Pilus’ men a massive boost.
The Brazilian, who was suspended for the second leg against Kelantan, is joint-topscorer of the Malaysia Cup with six goals. He had helped Selangor win the tournament last year and PDRM are hoping he has a similar effect.
Facts and figures
PDRM have only beaten Kedah three times in 14 tries over the last 10 years. Kedah prevailed eight times.
Kedah are competing in their third successive semi-final and are seeking to reach successive finals while PDRM have never played in a Cup final.
Kedah have only lost once at Darul Aman this season, winning 13 of their other 17 home matches.
FFT Prediction: Kedah 2 PDRM 1