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JDT need a big performance to keep hold of the FA Cup logo 22-04-2017

BY OOI KIN FAI Follow on Twitter

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It's the final match of the 2017 FA Cup quarterfinal stage and it's the big one. Pahang takes a 3-1 lead into the second leg tie to be played on Sunday night at Tan Sri Hj Hassan Yunos Stadium in Johor Bahru.

Pahang has had an entire week to prepare for this match after their last Super League match against Selangor. On the other hand Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), had to traveled to Cambodia to face Boeung Ket in the AFC Cup but that only tell one half of the story.

Pahang's two-goal lead is not enough - Matthew Davies

In the aforementioned match against Boeung Ket, Benjamin Mora made nine changes for the continental cup competition as he seeked to give a breather to those that he's likely to use in the domestic cup competition. Wholesale changes are expected and JDT will be no less fresh than their counterpart.

JDT's core players are expected to return to the starting line-up with the likes of Safiq Rahim, Gabriel Guerra, Marcos Antonio and Amirulhadi Zainal hoping to benefit from the week-long recovery they have had. Given his performance in the AFC Cup match, Nazmi Faiz could well be giving Mora a selection headache after he dominated the midfield against the Cambodians.

JDT's recent consistent form that saw them surged to the top of the Super League table has been down to a change of tactics from Mora. Guerra has been pushed further forward while the inclusion of another central midfielder sees more stability through the heart of the team.

JDT reserves proved their mettle in Boeungket drubbing - Ismail

As for Dollah Salleh, he would have been please to see his charges remained unbeaten since the resumption of the domestic schedule after the last international break. Two wins and a draw, including the first leg of the tie between these two teams - Pahang goes into the match in relatively good form.

Much will depend on the impressive Matheus Alves to continue his fine goal scoring form this season and the availability of Wan Zaharulnizam represents a big plus as the nippy wide attacker can be a handful to his markers. The midfield trio of Syamim Yahya, Nor Azam Azih and Heo Jae-Won are a solid combination of that compliments each other well.

Littered with defensive errors in the first leg, Mora is hoping that his players can cut out the mistakes on Sunday. The reigning FA Cup champions can ill-afford to slip up and concede a goal on a night where they will need to reduce any away goal advantage that Pahang could take.

Mora hails JDT's versatile squad members

A 2-0 win for JDT will be sufficient to take them through to the semi-final tie against Premier League side, Negeri Sembilan. Only a 3-1 home win, will see the match go into extra time. Both teams will look at their semi-final opponent and be rather confident that they have enough quality to take them to the showpiece final at Shah Alam Stadium.

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