PETALING JAYA: The Klang Valley football derby is back after a five-year hiatus.
And Kuala Lumpur coach Ismail Zakaria believes that they can steal the points from arch-rivals and title-holders Selangor when they meet in the Malaysia Cup Group B opener at the Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday.
The last time the two met was in 2011 with Selangor winning 2-1, also a group stage Malaysia Cup match.
Ismail conceded that Super League side Selangor are stronger than his Premier League outfit.
“But we’re not scared of Selangor. We’re well prepared and the players are in the right mindset for the match,” said Ismail.
“KL have not played in the Malaysia Cup for some time so our players are very motivated. They are hungry to test themselves against a top team like Selangor.
“Selangor are a big team with good individual quality. To beat them, we need to be very disciplined and play the correct tactical game.”
Ismail will unleash both his two new strikers - Palestinian Jonathan Cantillana and Chilean Diego Inostroza – on the 34-time Malaysia Cup champions Selangor.
Chile-born Cantillana and Inostroza were signed in the recent transfer window to replace ineffective Australian striker Mario Karlovic and injured Brazilian forward Casagrande.
KL have also bolstered their team by roping in defender Nazri Ahmad from Sabah and striker Ibrahim Syaihul from Felcra.
“This match is crucial for our new foreign strikers. I expect them to hit the ground running,” said Ismail.
For Selangor, they will be without their skipper Mohd Shahrom Abdul Kalam and midfielder Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat. Both have yet to recover from their injuries.
Did you find this article insightful?