Thursday, May 17, 2012

Weekend Preview 19-20 May

Osotspa Saraburi v Police Utd
BBCU v Chiang Rai Utd
Bangkok Glass v Thai Port

Wuachon v Muangthong
Isan Utd v TTM
Chainat v BEC Tero
Army v Pattaya Utd
TOT V Samut Songkhram

The much anticipated match of Buriram United and Chonburi has been shelved until 24 June due to Chonburi's involvement in the AFC Cup last 16. This postponement gives Muangthong United the opportunity to move 10 points clear of Buriram and 9 in front of Chonburi if the 'Thong' can win at Wuachon. That won't be easy as Wuachon will have a full compliment of players to pick from after their last couple of games have seen several players miss out due to loan agreements with Buriram United and Chonburi.

Bangkok Glass will be looking to bounce back against Thai Port after last week's 3-0 defeat at BEC. When both of these sides clashed for the last game of the 2010 TPL season, Thai Port drew 0-0 to claim a fourth placed finish. BG disappointingly finished sixth but in the 18 months or so since that game, Bangkok Glass have had up and downs but have generally moved forward. Thai Port on the other hand, have lost several key players as boardroom disputes have contributed to them heading in a downwards spiral. It's been a strenuous opening for Port this term and I know a few Thai Port fans who would gladly accept a fourth bottom finish now if it were offered to them.

Second placed BEC Tero have a tough assignment at Chainat. Tero press statements maintain that their youthful squad are ahead of schedule in development, although privately they must be having a sly peek at the TPL crown after six successive wins.

Under pressure coaches, Worawan Chitawanit (Samut Songkram) and Stefano Cugurra (Chiang Rai Utd) bring their sides to the capital to face TOT and BBCU respectively. The form book would suggest that TOT will be too strong for Samut Songkhram, while BBCU v Chiang Rai Utd could go either way. Latest news reports that this game has been switced to the SCG Stadium as the Rajamangala is preparing for the visit of Lady Gaga. The criticism of Stefano Cugurra from a section of the Orange Power is rather disappointing in my opinion considering what the Brazilian has accomplished for the side since he's been in charge. I sincerely hope he is given time to turn the Fighting Beetles season around and that he doesn't become the umpteenth coach in Thai football to be shown the door in 2012.

TTM's one goal from eight games has prompted their owners to hunt for strikers during the transfer window. This weekend they have to travel to Isan United with the same attackers that have been firing blanks thus far. In all fairness to the TTM strikers, their cause hasn't been aided by defensive tactics from coach Narong. Whether or not the coach is around for leg 2 of the season remains doubtful.

The final two games are middle ground affairs between Army v Pattaya Utd and Osotspa v Police United.

Division 1
FC Phuket v Air Force Utd
Chantaburi v Pattalung
Raj Pracha v Korat
PTT Rayong v Suphanburi
Songkla v Khon Kaen

JW Rangsit v Bangkok Utd
Ratchaburi v Bangkok FC
Krabi v Sriracha
Siam Navy v Saraburi

The Division 1 promotion race is already hotting up and Round 10 sees two clashes from clubs within the top 6. PTT Rayong have lost their last two games 1-0 and ending Suphanburi's three game winning streak will be a tough ask. Following disappointing results last weekend, both Krabi and Sriracha will be looking to raise themselves for their clash at the Krabi Provincial Stadium on Sunday.

League leaders Ratchaburi welcome inform Bangkok FC. The Iron Bulls have finally found their feet after a woeful start to the season. After losing their first three games, the Bang Mot favorites have gone six unbeaten with three wins and three draws.

Pattalung begin life without coach Anurak after he departed for the Leo Stadium earlier in the week although yesterday Bangkok Glass denied any knowledge of his appointment. His replacement, Somreut Sermsuk, will make his first team selection for the away visit to Chantaburi.

While on the subject of new appointments, Korat have enlisted Piyapon Piu-on as technical director after a recent run of poor form. The Swatcats sit precariously only two points above the relegation zone and a fresh input of ideas could be the catalyst for an upturn of form.

Division 2 Bangkok
Samut Prakarn Utd v Assumption Thonburi
Kasem Bundit v Kasetsart
Luk Esan v Thai Honda

R-BEC v Krung Thonburi
Customs Utd v Bangkok Christian
Globex v Samut Sakhon
North Bangkok v Chamchuri
Nonthaburi v Rayong United

Rangsit FC v Central Lions

Samut Sakhon and Thai Honda have bought themselves some daylight between the chasing pack after recent results. Both sides travel to mid-table clubs as the bid to increase their lead at the top.

Assumption Thonburi and Nonthaburi have notched their first wins within the last week so that leaves Bangkok Christian as the only side to left to pierce the egg yolk. An away match to Customs United at Lat Krabang 54 for the Christains will be their 14th attempt to win a match.

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