Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekend Preview 8-9 September

Thai Port v Bangkok Glass
Pattaya v Army Utd
Chonburi v Buriram Utd
Police Utd v Osotspa Saraburi
BEC Tero v Chainat

Muangthong Utd v Wuachon Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v BBCU
TTM v Esan Utd
Samut Songkhram v TOT

Many would have anticipated back in March that this Chonburi v Buriram Utd clash would have been billed as a title showdown rather than a tussle for second place. The AFC campaigns have contributed towards tiredness for Buriram and Chonburi, and mix that with some uninspiring foreign signings (in my opinion), then it's evident why the pair are lagging behind Muangthong. This will be the fourth meeting of the season between the duo and a home win would move Chonburi eight points clear of Buriram with eight left to play.
The other Saturday games have a big focus on the relegation dogfight. Chainat will slip unnoticed into the Thephasadin as the newly appointed (insert title) Sven Goran Eriksson will be the focus of the media attention. Nobody will be expecting the Hornbills to win but they could have a surprise up their sleeves for the former Leicester City manager. Last time these pair met it was "the goal that never was" that provided the match talking point.
Police United and Thai Port have home games from which a point would generally be a satisfactory return. However, as we are arriving at the business end of the season, both sides probably need four wins to secure their top flight status and they need to start earning them sooner rather than later. Thai Port will have Worakorn Wichanarong back in the dugout after rumours that he'd been fired were untrue. Apparently he was ill so that's why he missed the Pattaya match last Saturday.
The final match on Saturday is Pattaya v Army. The Dolphins have opened up a nice little five point cushion on BBCU in 16th and will come into this game feeling slightly more at ease. This match will be the last in the sequence of six TPL away games for Army. In the previous five, they've won two, drawn two and only lost one.

On Sunday, Muangthong take on an off color Wuachon who haven't scored in three or won in five TPL outings.
After 25 matches, TTM have only 16 points and with nine left to play, they'll need to double their current points total plus add a cherry on top if they wish to remain in the top division. It will be difficult for TTM against Esan Utd who are unbeaten in six games.
The match between Samut Songkhram and TOT in Mae Klong promises to be a tight one while Chiang Rai Utd will see the visit of BBCU as a chance to reignite their home form after they've failed to find the net during their last two TPL matches at the United Stadium. 

Division 1
Bangkok FC v Ratchaburi
Air Force Utd v FC Phuket
Saraburi v Siam Navy
Sriracha v Krabi
Phatthalung v Chantaburi

Suphanburi v PTT Rayong
Khon Kaen v Songkla
Bangkok Utd v JW Rangsit
Korat v Raj Pracha

This is a pivotal weekend with the four sides currently going for that third promotion spot pitting their wits against each other. Third placed Suphanburi host fourth placed PTT Rayong. Suphanburi have lost their last two home matches, surprisingly one to JW Rangsit in the league and another to BEC Tero in the TLC Cup. PTT Rayong's last six have seen them win four and lose two. Breaking that down their winning ratio is two out of three, and as Meatloaf's lyrics suggest, "two out of three ain't bad."
The Energy's battery has been running low and a loss at Sriracha would almost see them discharge themselves from the promotion race. The Blue Marlins need to bounce back after they were humbled at lowly Saraburi last week.
Second placed Bangkok United should make it ten unbeaten with the visit of JW Rangsit, while Ratchaburi travel to a Bangkok FC side whose only win in their last 10 was against Chantaburi.
While on the subject of Chantaburi, they will officially be relegated to the regional leagues if they lose to Phatthalung. The hound dog has finally caught up with the Hares' Division one status and is about to eat it for dinner.

Division 2 BKK
Assumption Thonburi v Samut Prakarn Utd
Central Lions v Rangsit FC
Kasetsart v Kasem Bundit
Thai Honda v Luk Esan
Rayong Utd v Nonthaburi

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

The top three of Thai Honda, Rayong Utd and Kasetsart all have what could be described as home bankers this weekend. Finishing in the top 2 is important as clubs will want to avoid the lottery of a possible play-off to enter the 'real' play-offs. A win for Thai Honda over Luk Esan would confirm them as Division 2 Bangkok champions for 2012.
R-BEC and Samut Sakhon will be ready to pounce should Rayong Utd or Kasetsart fail to collect their win bonus.

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