Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Weekend Preview 17-18 December

Army v Buriram PEA (Sat)
TOT v TTM Pichit (Sat)
Sriracha v Bangkok Glass (Sat)
Pattaya v Chiang Rai Utd (Sat)
Sisaket v Muangthong (Sun)
Samut Songkhram v Thai Port (Sun)
Navy v Osotspa (Sun)
BEC Tero v Chonburi (Sun)
Police v Khon Kaen (Sun)

Buriram PEA will wrap up the TPL title if they can beat Army United on Saturday. Their inevitable title celebrations will come earlier than expected as nearest challengers Muangthong have endured a week that they'll want to forget. Last weekend they let a 2-0 lead slip deep into injury time at Khon Kaen and on Wednesday evening they suffered their first ever home TPL defeat after they were humbled by lowly Siam Navy 3-1. Club owner, Rawi Lohtong, lambasted his side in the press after they squandered the 2 goal lead at Khon Kaen and you have to wonder what the media tycoon had to say after the home defeat to Navy. With Rawi's hiring and firing policy, it looks doubtful that Robbie Fowler will still be in the Muanthong hot seat when the 2012 league season commences.
Anyway on the pitch, Muangthong have a difficult task this weekend with a long trip to Sisaket. Another defeat for the Nontaburi side could leave them trailing second placed Chonburi by 6 points if the Sharks can claim three points at BEC Tero. At the bottom, time is running out for Khon Kaen and Sriracha. The two strugglers meet Pathumthani sides with Sriracha hosting Bangkok Glass and Khon Kaen travelling to Suphanburi to meet Police United. A poor run of three consecutive defeats has seen Samut Songkhram slip into the relegation places. They will face an inform Thai Port side who are unbeaten in five. The two sides sitting just above the drop zone, Navy and TOT, will both be confident of collecting three points as they welcome Osotspa and TTM Phichit respectively.

Division 1
Chantaburi v Air Force (Sat)
Saraburi v Chainat (Sat)
Customs v Suphanburi (Sat)
Thai Honda v Phuket (Sat)
Chiang Mai v JW Rangsit (Sat)
Bangkok FC v BBCU (Sun)
Buriram v Raj Pracha (Sun)
PTT Rayong v RBAC (Sun)
Songkla v Bangkok United (Sun)

The first division promotion race has hardly set any pulses racing this season as the top 3 of Buriram FC, Chainat and BBCU have been miles ahead of the chasing pack for months now. Chainat just need a point to join Buriram FC in the top flight, while BBCU could accompany the other two if their result betters Songkla's on Sunday. It won't be easy for BBCU as they travel over the river to take on a Bangkok FC team who are fighting to survive the drop. Two recent away victories have helped the Bulligans creep away from danger. Plummeting in the opposite direction are Air Force United who have alarmingly only picked up 1 point from the last 12 available and more worryingly, they've failed to find the net since the 2nd of October. A loss at Chantaburi for the Airmen could see them fall into the relegation places for the first time this season if Customs can overcome Suphanburi at the Forza. The bottom two sides of Thai Honda and RBAC, will finally be condemned to second division football if they lose.

Division 2 Play-offs
(Group A) (Sunday)
Pattalung v Kasetsart
Loei v Phitsanoluk
Phichit v Ratchaburi

(Group B) (Saturday)
Krabi v Rayong
Nth Bangkok v Lamphun
Korat v Roi Et

In Group A, Ratchaburi are already promoted as winners of the group. Second placed Pattalung should join them as a home victory over bottom placed Kasetsart would guarantee them second spot. Failure to collect 3 points for Pattalung would leave the door open for the winners of Loei and Phitsanoluk to sneak into the second promotion place.

The only game of any real significance in Group B is Krabi v Rayong. A win or draw would be good enough for Krabi to join Korat in Division 1. A victory for Rayong though, would see the Wild Horses hurdle over Krabi into the top 2. It will be party time in Korat as they host fellow north east neighbors Roi Et. The pressure is finally off the Swatcats and the home fans will be able to relax for the first time in months.

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