Six-time Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) is self-motivated to face reigning FA Cup champions Kedah in Friday’s Charity Shield – thanks to a new state-of-the-art RM200 million Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri and the signing of Liridon Krasniqi and Matthew Davies.
The 35,000 capacity Sultan Ibrahim Stadium – which will be the new home for the Southern Tigers – is the new pride of the Johor outfit and is expected to be filled to the brim to lend a voice to the team.
Kedah’s request for at least 1,000 tickets was shot down and the Red Eagles have been allocated only 800 tickets for the curtain-raiser which will kickstart Malaysia’s football season.
Still, while Kedah will not get the support in the stands, JDT coach Benjamin Mora is still wary of the threat his team faces on the pitch – in the form of two Ks – Kipre Tchetche and Kpah Sherman – the two new signings by Kedah.
Both are proven hitmen – Tchetche was with Terengganu and Sherman was with former Super League’s PKNS FC (now disbanded). JDT too beefed up its already star-studded team by signing up former Kedah hero and playmaker Krasniqi and right back Davies from Pahang.
Mora is also not buying that Kedah lost the recent Unity Shield match against Perak (3-1) and failed to make the group stage in the AFC Champions League.
JDT goes into the Charity Shield match with the psychological advantage of having beaten the Kedah 3-0 in last year’s Malaysia Cup final played at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
It stops that for the Mexican who has become the most successful foreign coach in the Malaysian Football League.
”This is a new season…a season where every team would be looking for a winning start to the star, Kedah is as dangerous as any other team that hopes to beat JDT,” said Mora.
The Southern Tigers, playing at the new stadium, would want to give their fans something to remember at the new stadium – the pride of Johor and the team looks to explore and expand its brand name in the region.
JDT also wants to become the first team in the country to win the Charity Shield in three times in a row after winning it in 2018 and 2019.