It’s the final countdown. Malaysian Super League 2014 will have its champion tomorrow and there are only two teams left to battle for the biggest prize in Malaysian football. Who will you pick? Will it be the Red Giants? Or do you think the trophy will head south again, this time to Johor. I will reserve my prediction till the end of the article, so let us examine the two teams that will be fighting for Malaysian Super League title 2014.
Johor Darul Takzim (The Southern Tigers)
Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) lead by one point going to the penultimate match of the season. So, the Southern Tigers will start as the favourite despite being the one who had to travel in their final game against Sarawak. JDT know that Selangor will definitely win at Shah Alam stadium against their brother, Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS), therefore anything other than a win for JDT will hand the title back to Klang Valley for the first time since 2010.
On paper, JDT vs Sarawak is going to be an easy match for the Southern Tigers. Sarawak was so poor defensively against Selangor last Saturday that a repeat of such performance against JDT could result in another heavy defeat for the Crocs. But the fact that they are sitting on the 7th place from 12 teams participating in the Malaysian Super League shows that this is a match that JDT can’t take lightly. Sarawak have a very good home record with 5 wins, 2 draws and only 2 loses. Therefore not an easy place to find points especially when you need it the most.
Overall, JDT is a far superior team with so many quality players to call upon. Sarawak on the other hand rely on hardwork and teamwork. The Crocs’s game plan will be to frustrate JDT by ‘parking the bus‘ and hit them on the break like many teams did. However, I don’t think they have what it takes defensively to stop JDT from scoring and up front the likes of Joseph Kalang Tie, S. Chanturu, Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli and Muamer Salibašić just don’t have enough in them to trouble JDT’s defence.
JDT will need to decide whether to attack right from the start or patiently build up their attack slowly from defence. Looking at how loosely Sarawak’s defence did the man-marking job against Selangor, I’m not surprised if Bojan Hodak keep the same line-up that played against Kelantan on Friday. I think Sarawak will struggle to monitor the run of Amirul Hadi, Nazrin Nawi dan Luciano Figueroa into the penalty box. If Safiq Rahim has a good game, then Sarawak will be in trouble.
Nonetheless, the pressure is on JDT to deliver. Millions had been spent by Tengku Mahkota Johor to build this team and the players know that anything less than the title is considered a failure. It is time to prove that they are really worth every ringgit spent.
Selangor (The Red Giants)
Like I said, The Red Giants have an easier game compared to JDT. There have no traveling to do and facing a team that is at the rock bottom of Malaysian Super League. But, most importantly, they have Paulo Rangel in their starting line up. The Brazilian has been single-handedly spearheading Selangor’s title challenge this season and it is his goals that has kept Selangor in the title race.
Another key player for Selangor is their goal keeper, Farizal Marlias. The national custodian has been playing superbly between the post and he will again play a key part in this final match against PKNS. As for the creative role, Indonesia’s Messi, Andik Vermansyah will provide the spark with darting runs and killer croses from the flank.
Selangor should have no problem beating PKNS team which has performed very poorly this season. I can’t even single out any player from PKNS that impresses me and could play a spoiler role tomorrow night.
My Prediction: Who Will Be The Malaysian Super League Champion 2014
Selangor will beat PKNS but will find that it won’t be enough for them to lift Malaysian Super League trophy. While Sarawak is a difficult team to beat at home, they also have nothing much to play for and I suspect they might not turn up mentally like they did in Shah Alam last Saturday. JDT on the other hand, will be very determined to win this game and with the players that they have and the 5 days break that they got since the last match, JDT should win at Kuching comfortably.
How about you guys? Anyone beg to differ? Feel free to leave comment on the comment box below. Thank you.
– Malaysian Super League Champion 2014