The new Malaysian Super League (MSL) season is upon us and for the preview this year, Goal will be breaking it up to four parts Title Challengers, Mid Table Security, Staying Up and Relegation Battlers. And here's the final part, the three teams that will be are likely to fight against each other to avoid the drop to the Premier League
Predicted finish ni 2019: 10th
2018 season: 10th
Head coach: Yusri Che Lah
Notable transfers in: Khair Jones, Fitri Omar, Sylvano Comvalius
Notable transfers out: Syazwan Andik, Zaquan Adha, Borbijon Akhbarov
Saved from relegation last season but embroiled in it for long periods, KL have already dismissed Fabio Maciel da Silva in favour of Yusri Che Lah this season. Chong Boon Fatt was initially offered the role but he prefers to stick with the assistant coach role, hence the arrival of the former Kelantan head coach.
It has been a pre-season of turmoil for the City boys who's financial troubles saw them lose Syazwan Andik to Johor Darul Ta'zim. The issue however is settled for now as Goal understands that the arrears to players have already been paid in the past two weeks.
For Yusri, he will at least have Guilherme de Paula and Paulo Josue rekindling their wonderful partnership from last season with the former being the finisher and the latter the chief creator. The former Perlis and Perak player will also have to decide on the role of the team's main young star Irfan Zakaria, who needs to fix a position to develop further.
Just like last season with Kelantan, the new 2019 season could be very familiar for Yusri as the quality of players at his disposal could very well mean being involved in another relegation dogfight.
PJ City FC
Predicted finish in 2019: 11th
2018 season: 3rd in MPL
Head coach: K. Devan
Notable transfers in: S. Veenod, M. Sivakumar, Joshua Grommen
Notable transfers out: Kpah Sherman
Known as MIFA last season, the team did very well to finish third in the second tier, the Premier League. The team that beat them to the promotion Felcra FC decided to shut the team down, gave MIFA the opportunity to move up a division.
Now rebranded as PJ City FC and possessing an increased amount of money to improve the team, has seen several established players joining their ranks. For instance the experience of Veenod and Sivakumar will prove useful to help the others who have no past playing experience in the top flight.
Pedro Henrique will have to shoulder the big burden of finding goals after the departure of Kpah Sherman to PKNS FC but the biggest area of concern for Devan will be his defence, especially when they go up against the bigger boys in the division.
It be will be a season of struggle for the new team in the top flight but the pressure is off and it depends if Devan can use that to his advantage.
Predicted finish in 2019: 12th
2018 season: 1st in MPL
Head coach: Nidzam Jamil
Notable tranfers in: Norazlan Razali, Kei Ikeda, Jasazrin Jamaluddin
Notable transfers out: Shukor Adan, Wan Zack Haikal, Farizal Harun
When Felda finished champions of the 2018 Malaysia Premier League, everything looked rosy and bright. They were even thought as one of the teams that could offer some fight to the more established teams in the Super League but all that changed almost overnight.
Left to operate on a much lower scale of financial power, Felda were stripped of their stars that won them promotion. Even B. Sathianathan up sticks and joined Selangor, on top of others like Shukor Adan, Wan Zack Haikal, Khairu Azrin and Syamim Yahya.
Nidzam has been at the club for some time now and will have to use all the knowledge he has to get the best out of the team. Young Danial Amier is the brightest prospect at the club and he could well be looking at this season as a chance to showcase his talents to future employers.
Came into the Super League this season but looks like a sure bet for an immediate return to the Premier League.
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