Thursday, December 22, 2011

Weekend Preview 24-25 December

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

TPL football fans have reasons to be jolly this festive weekend as all 18 teams will aspire to serve up some Christmas treats for their faithful followers.
The game that will grab most attention this weekend is Muangthong v Chonburi. Both sides have briefly flirted with the title race this season without ever really threatening Buriram PEA. As a result, the pair are now competing for 2nd place and a potential AFC spot in 2012. Muangthong have been inconsistent of late and a second consecutive home loss would give Chonburi a healthy advantage in their pursuit for the runners-up place.
On Christmas Eve, mid-table sides Thai Port and Police will meet at the PAT Stadium. Army Utd, who still need another three points to guarantee survival, travel to Nong Prue, Pattaya, and Bangkok Glass host a Khon Kaen side that is desperate for points at the Leo Stadium.
There is a potential cracker of a game in Sattahip on Christmas Day as troubled sides Navy and Samut Songkram meet in a survival 6 pointer. Navy have won their last two to keep their heads above water while SCG will be looking to build on last week's victory over Thai Port in order to cement their place in the TPL. Elsewhere, PEA will want to avenge their only TPL defeat this season as they welcome Sisaket, with the remaining two games being Osotspa v BEC Tero and TTM v Sriracha.

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

With Buriram FC and Chainat already promoted, the third and final spot could be taken by BBCU this weekend if they can defeat Buriram FC at the Army Stadium. Recent form would suggest that a BBCU victory is unlikely so they'll will be hoping that Bangkok FC can do them a favour and beat fourth placed PTT Rayong.
At the bottom, RBAC and Thai Honda are already doomed while Chiang Mai are drinking at the last chance saloon. The team from the north travel to face a Raj Pracha team that have lost their last five games. The other side making up the bottom four, Customs, need to win at Bangkok United and hope that they can reclaim some ground on Chantaburi, Bangkok FC and JW Rangsit. As mentioned earlier, Bangkok FC have a difficult task at PTT Rayong, while the winners of JW Rangsit and Chantaburi in Nakhon Nayok should be able to start relaxing as three points will almost certainly assure 1st division longevity. 

Division 2 Play-offs
Korat v Ratchaburi (Sat - Supachalasai)
Krabi v Pattalung (Sun - Trang)

The four promoted sides will face each other in a final match to determine the finishing placings for the Division 2 Champions League. The winner between Korat and Ratchaburi will reportedly receive 2.5m Baht with the runners-up taking home 1m Baht.  The winner of the 3rd/4th place game will pocket 0.5m Baht.
These games have been hyped up by the Thai press all week despite the fact that the targets of all four clubs have been achieved with promotion to Division 1. Expect to see the dignitaries of each club making speeches and posing for various photographs in order to let everyone pay tribute to them.

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