MALAYSIA - As the Malaysia Cup season kicks off today, football fans across the country and those following the league are all excited. Critics and fans alike have started predicting and debating which team will emerge champions on the final day on Nov 3.
But after all is said and done, defending champions Kelantan will not want to surrender their title without a proper scrap.
A mouthwatering final between 32-time champions Selangor and Singapore's LionsXII are my picks to battle for the trophy but picking an outright winner is too close to call, but nonetheless, if the two traditional rivals do face off, it will be a dream match.
Singapore's Lions, who put to shame local clubs by becoming Super League champions, and Selangor must justify their seeding in the group stage and come through the quarter-finals and semi-finals in order to meet in the final.
Selangor have not won the Malaysia Cup since their 3-0 win over Perlis in the 2005 final. Pressure is surely mounting on coach Irfan Bakti considering that Selangor, under him, have not won a single title.
Their last title came in 2010 when they won the Super League under coach K. Devan. They also won the Charity Shield that same year. With Selangor, you are supposed to win titles as that is all that matters. In the past, winning titles was a way of life for the Klang Valley side until of late.
Selangor have yet to sort out their their problems in attack ever since the departure of Safee Sali to Indonesian Super League side Pelita Jaya three years ago.
Irfan must deliver the trophy as nothing less will do but for sure, Selangor will face tough opposition from teams like Kelantan, Armed Forces, Perak, Darul Takzim and the Lions.