Winning the region’s longest-running football tournament has become a fixation for Malaysian football teams, and this year several will be out with all guns blazing in an attempt to capture the trophy, including the LionsXII.
Negeri Sembilan rose to the occasion and defeated Terengganu 2-1 to win last year's edition. It was Negeri’s third win since the inauguration of the tournament in 1921 and generated much euphoria among their fans. However, things have changed this time around after Aidil Zafuan, Zaquan Adha, and Hairuddin Omar moved on to Premier League champions Armed Forces, known as the 'Manchester City of Malaysia.'
Kelantan will arguably be the team to beat this year after their historic consecutive league titles, whilst fallen giants Selangor, the record winners of the Malaysia Cup, will look to reclaim their reputation as Malaysian football’s powerhouse after a largely disappointing season.
This year’s edition will also mark the return of 24-time winner Singapore. After a 17-year hiatus, they will be making a comeback via MSL runners-up Lions XII.
The first pot will contain the names of MSL champions, Kelantan, Lions XII, 33-time Malaysia cup winners, Selangor and Perak. The second pot will consist of Terengganu, Negeri Sembilan, PKNS and T-team. Johor FC, Felda United, Sarawak and Kedah will be the third pot. Last but not least, the fourth pot will contain Premier League teams; Armed Forces, Pahang, Sime Darby and Johor.
The draw will take place on August 2 at 5pm while the tournament will kick off on August 24 and will finish on the October 20 in a final held at the 87,411-capacity National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.