Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

A new look Kedah side will be looking to extend their stay in the 2020 AFC Champions League by beating Hong Kong’s Tai Po FC on Tuesday.

Kedah has been one of the big movers in this transfer window and they will have first chance to show how the new players have gelled with the those who have remained with the squad from last season.

Winning the FA Cup against Perak in 2019 earned Kedah a spot in the AFC Champions League playoff round and they will be confident of edging Tai Po to set up a mouthwatering clash against FC Seoul.

For head coach Aidil Sharin, the preparations have started back in December and after a pre-season tour of Cambodia, he’s motivated by how the squad has come together in recent weeks.

“We expect a tough game because it’s our first game. Definitely two teams who will play to win. The only advantage for us is that we’re playing at home but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

“We don’t look backwards. Yes, we won the FA Cup last season but this is a new calendar for us with new players. We strengthened with the new players and I believe the mix will give us a good balance.

“Our strength is our team spirit. Doesn’t matter if they are foreign or local, they will come out to fight for 90 minutes. That’s the only assurance I can give to the fans and media,” said Aidil on Monday.

Despite the obvious optimism, Aidil will have to do without his key man in the heart of his defence in Shakir Hamzah. His fellow Singaporean has to sit out of the match because of prior ban from his Home United days.

That would mean a chance for new signing Irfan Zakaria to gain a place in the starting line-up alongside Brazilian Renan Alves as they look to shut out the Hong Kong side.

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