Friday, October 19, 2012

Weekend Preview 20-22 October

Chonburi v Bangkok Glass
Chiang Rai Utd v TTM

BBCU v Buriram Utd
Osotspa Saraburi v Esan Utd
Army Utd v TOT
Wuachon Utd v Chainat
Thai Port v Muangthong Utd
BEC Tero v Pattaya Utd
Police Utd v Samut Songkhram

As we enter the penultimate round of fixtures, the only placing of significance yet to be decided is who takes the last relegation slot and joins BBCU and TTM in the first division next year.
It appears to be a two way battle between Thai Port and Chainat on 33 points although Pattaya, Police and Chiang Rai Utd could still be dragged back into the scrap should they lose on Sunday and Chainat and Port win. For the Klong Toei favorites to achieve this, they'll have to do what no other club has done in 32 previous attempts and beat the TPL champions, Muangthong United.
If Thai Port were to lose to MTU and if Chainat won at Wuachon, then it would by goodnight for TP as the Hornbill's superior head to head record would ensure that they'd finish above Thai Port in the standings.
As mentioned earlier, Pattaya, Police and Chaing Rai Utd aren't out of the woods yet. CRU should book their safety ticket with the visit of hapless TTM. In similar fashion, Police United would expect to complete their series of seven home matches with a win over Samut Songkhram while Pattaya will probably be relying on favors from elsewhere as they have a tough trip to third placed BEC Tero Sasana.
The rest of the card has Chonburi v Bangkok Glass on Saturday, while it's BBCU v Buriram Utd, Osotspa v Esan Utd and Army Utd v TOT on Sunday.

Division 1
Bangkok FC v Sriracha
Suphanburi v Saraburi
Khon Kaen v Phatthalung
Bangkok Utd v Air Force Utd
Korat v Ratchaburi
Raj Pracha v FC Phuket
JW Rangsit v Chantaburi
Songkhla v Siam Navy
PTT Rayong v Krabi

Unlike the TPL, there is still plenty to play for in the first division with two promotion spots and three relegation placings yet to be resolved.
At the top, the final day showdown between Sriracha and Suphanburi has already let Ratchaburi slip into the TPL waiting lounge and they'll be joined by Bangkok United provided they beat Air Force on Saturday. Suphanburi should have too much at home for Saraburi while Sriracha travel to Bangkok FC who themselves are desperate for points for other reasons. Anything other than a win for the Blue Marlins could make the big showdown with Suphanburi irrelevant if results pan out against them.
With Chantaburi, Raj Pracha and JW Rangsit already relegated, there are still two more from five clubs dreading a similar fate. Phatthalung and FC Phuket currently occupy those two unwanted placings with Khon Kaen, Songkhla and Bangkok FC hovering just above them. The biggie at the bottom has to be Khon Kaen against Phatthalung. You feel a home win would determine both clubs futures with KK staying up and Phatthalung going down. FC Phuket are at relegated Raj Pracha and three points should be on the cards for the Islanders. Likewise Songkhla should be able to beat Siam Navy at home and as mentioned beforehand, Bangkok FC welcome promotion chasing Sriracha.

Division 2 Playoffs
(Group A - Saturday)
Rayong Utd v Roi Et Utd
Phitsanoluk v Pattani
Ayutthaya v Paknampo NSRU

It's been tight in Group A so far with few goals scored and plenty of equally matched contests. Three teams are currently tied on four points with two of them meeting this weekend. Central/East champions Ayutthaya welcome NSRU who are venturing outside of Nakhon Sawan for the first time in the playoffs. Rayong Utd also have four points and victory over Roi Et would leave the White Squirrels a mountain to climb. Phitsanoluk make their first home appearance after two away defeats and three points are a must for the Violet Army to get their promotion bid back on colour.

(Group B - Sunday)
Sisaket Utd v Trat
Rayong FC v Thai Honda

Chaing Mai FC v Trang

If both Trat and Rayong FC win this weekend, the pair would open up a healthy six point advantage over the rest of the field. Even at this early stage, you'd have your money firmly on the Central/East double act should this happen. Chaing Mai FC and Trang don't play until Monday evening and they'll probably be hoping for Sisaket Utd and Thai Honda victories so they can move to withing three points of the top should they win this Monday night fixture. The loser can start preparing for another season of regional league football in 2013.

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