The Red Giants will not let history repeat itself when they take on the S-League Selection in the annual Sultan of Selangor’s Cup football competition at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.
Selangor head coach P. Maniam said he wanted his men to erase the humiliating 6-0 bashing they received at the hands of the visitors last year.
“It was a difficult game then as we had to face a strong Singapore side in the midst of our domestic calendar. The players barely had enough rest and went into the game only hours after arriving from Kota Baru,” said Maniam yesterday.
“But we will be better prepared this time.”
Singapore’s towering striker Aleksandar Duric, who scored a brace in the Lions’ thumping victory last year, will again lead the attack with the support of creative flankers Qiu Li and Shia Jiayi.
Maniam said he was aware of the threat posed by the strong S-League Selection, who are made up of mostly their national players.
“It is not a new experience to face Singapore ... but the fans’ expectations are high. In fact, even our national team could only hold them to a 1-1 draw in a pre-World Cup match in July,” said Maniam, who added that he would work out their game plan when they begin training tomorrow.
The Selangor coach will be counting on national striker Mohd Safee Sali, who has just completed a two-week training stint with English Division Two side Cardiff City, to lead the quest for goals on Saturday.
Safee had left Selangor early this year to join Indonesian Super League side Pelita Jaya FC.
Selangor have also been given added firepower following the inclusion of two former English Premier League (EPL) players – Jason McAteer and Jesper Blomqvist – in their side.
McAteer and Blomqvist, who once played for Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, are expected to join the Selangor training session on Friday.
This year’s Sultan of Selangor’s Cup is the 10th in the series. Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had initiated the event in 2001 to foster better ties between Selangor and Singapore.
There will be two matches on Saturday. The first will be between the Selangor veterans and their Singapore counterparts (8pm) and the second match will see the Selangor Selection taking on the S-League Selection (9pm).
The champions of the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup will receive RM50,000 and the runners-up RM10,000.
Tickets, priced at a flat rate of RM10 for the two matches, are available at the Quality Hotel (Shah Alam & Kuala Lumpur), Concorde Shah Alam and Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur.