LionsXII defender Baihakki Khaizan is not taking their Malaysia Cup opponents lightly, despite having been drawn in a relatively easy group on paper.
The Malaysian Super League (MSL) champions have been placed in Group D alongside Perak, Kedah and Malaysian Premier League champions Sarawak for the upcoming campaign.
The LionsXII have not lost to Perak in four meetings over the last two MSL seasons, winning three of those matches.
Although Kedah and Sarawak played the recent season in the second tier, Baihakki has urged his teammates not to be complacent.
“I am quite happy with the group as some will say that we have got a high chance of going to the next round, but of course that is only statistics and matches are not won on paper," the Singapore international pointed out.
“On the field, they are just like any other opponent that can pose lots of threats.
“Furthermore, we have just won the championship and all teams, regardless of MSL or the Premier League, won’t want to make things easy for us.
“I want to approach the Malaysia Cup the same way we did for the league. There are people who said we couldn't win the league, but we did it.
“Now they are expecting us to go for the double... and as a player I would love to win it.”
It will be also be an emotional homecoming to the Darul Aman Stadium in Kedah for coaches of the other three teams as all have historical ties to the four-time Malaysia Cup winners.
LionsXII coach V. Sundramoorthy played for the Kenari during their glory days in 1989, while Bujang Senang coach Robert Alberts was in charge of them from 1992 to 1995.
Perak coach Azraai Khor Abdullah started his professional career with Kedah in 1969, before coaching their youth team in 1991 and becoming Alberts's assistant a year later.
Azraai was appointed their head coach in 2004 and led them to successive trebles in the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons.
The Malaysia Cup group stages will be played from August 20 until September 21, with the quarters scheduled for September 28 and October 4.
The semi-finals will be held on October 18 and 15 while the final will take place on November 3.
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Selangor||Johor Darul Takzim||Kelantan||LionsXII|
|ATM FA||PKNS FC||Pahang||Perak|
|Johor FA||Felda United||Negeri Sembilan||Kedah|