Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weekend Preview 26-27 May

Bangkok Glass v Buriram Utd
Thai Port v Chainat
BEC Tero v TOT
Samut Songkhram v Isan United
Chiang Rai Utd v Osotspa Saraburi
Pattaya Utd v Wuachon Utd

Muangthong v Chonburi
Army v Police

This weekend we see two matches which won't decide the title, but they'll certainly be a yardstick as to which trophy cabinet the TPL silverware will be heading to. Muangthong have hoovered up a maximum twelve points in their last four and they welcome the only current TPL side that has beaten them at the Thunderdome - Siam Navy has achieved this feat as well but they are no longer in the TPL - That victory for the Sharks came last Christmas Day as they came from behind to beat MTU 2-1. Looking at the league table now, those desperate days under the guidance of the culturally naive Robbie Fowler seem like a million miles away.

With only two league games played since Songkran, which were both drawn, Buriram United have plunged to an unaccustomed position of sixth place. Granted they could return to the top if they won their four games in hand, but I'm certain most of the BUFC support would rather have the points in the bag and would happily trade places with Muangthong. This weekend Buriram travel to Bangkok Glass where they've done well in the last two seasons. Bangkok Glass are unbeaten at home and I feel the first goal in this game might decide the winner.

At the bottom, it's a massive weekend also as four sides currently occupying the bottom five meet. BBCU begin life without Zico at the helm after he resigned earlier in the week due to his side's poor form. Worachai Surinsirirat has stepped in as caretaker coach and his first task will be in Chiang Mai against TTM. After six straight loses, Samut Songkram's coach Worawan finally threw in the towel and handed over to Sompop Suksombat who will take charge for the visit of Isan United.

The other side in the relegation mire, Thai Port, welcome Chainat who'll be without Surachet and Napat as the pair were handed bans after last weekend's game against BEC for x-rated tackles straight out of the Greame Souness etiquette handbook. For Port, they could do with all the help that they can, and I read a stat earlier this week that said that over two-thirds of goals conceded by Thai Port have come in the last 30 minutes of their games. That would suggest either a lack of fitness or more likely on the evidence of the 4-0 at BG, it shows there are too many anonymous pedestrians in the side whose heads go down once the going gets tough.

In the other games it's BEC v TOT, Chiang Rai v Osotspa, Pattaya v Wuachon and Army v Police Utd.

Division 1
Bangkok FC v Korat
Bangkok Utd v Raj Pracha
Khon Kaen v JW Rangsit
Sriracha v PTT Rayong
Saraburi v Krabi
Pattalung v Siam Navy

Air Force v Chantaburi
Ratchaburi v FC Phuket
Suphanburi v Songkla

Ratchaburi play their second home game of the week welcoming FC Phuket.  A home win would be expected for the Dragons as should one for Bangkok United who face a stuttering Raj Pracha at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. Krabi haven't won for two matches and getting back to winning ways at Saraburi won't be easy as the Warlords have only lost one in five at home.

The games between Sriracha v PTT Rayong and Suphanburi v Songkla ought to be close games. Both the home sides are serious promotion contenders whereas the two away teams are more realistically considered as outside bets.

After 10 matches, Bangkok FC had the highest total of goals per game (37) while Korat had the lowest (21). Something will have to give and my averaging statometer, says to expect 2.9 goals in this contest. Ok, we'll call it 3 for arguments sake.

Division 2 (Bangkok)
Central Lions v Globex
Samut Sakhon v Luk Isan
Thai Honda v Assumption Thonburi
Rayong Utd v Samut Prakarn Utd
Chamchuri Utd v R-BEC

Customs Utd v Rangsit FC
Kasetsart v North Bangkok
Krung Thonburi v Kasem Bundit
Bangkok Christian v Nonthaburi

Honda and Samut Sakhon will be expecting to continue their march to the play-offs with what should be routine home games.
Rayong United in third, welcome the unpredictable Samut Prakarn Utd while Chamchuri and R-BEC will be looking back at the league tables from the early weeks of the season and will be rueful of wasting promising openings. The pair meet at Chula on Saturday evening.

After 29 league games, Bangkok Christian and Nonthaburi have mustered one win between them. The pair do battle on Sunday at the Thephasadin and both sides surely must have pencilled in three points from this encounter.

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