Friday, June 21, 2013

Matchday 16 Preview


Chainat v Bangkok Glass
Osotspa Saraburi v Army Utd
Police Utd v Ratchaburi
Samut Songkhram v Chonburi

Buriram Utd v Bangkok Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Pattaya Utd
Muangthong Utd v BEC Tero
Sisaket P-P Suphanburi
Songkhla Utd v TOT

The eye-catching contest this weekend is Muangthong v BEC Tero on Sunday. Former Muangthong United boss, Rene Desaeyere, returns to Nonthaburi with his new side BEC Tero. The Belgium was surprisingly dismissed in 2010 after leading the Twin Quilins to the TPL title before he had brief spells coaching at Chiang Mai and Suphanburi. The Fire Dragons are currently six matches unbeaten since the arrival of Rene while his opposite number in the dugout this Sunday, Winfried Schafer, lost his first match at the helm of Muangthong at Bangkok Glass a fortnight ago. The former Thailand coach has a tarnished reputation to repair after his time in charge of the national side produced mixed results. Thailand's 5-1 win in China last week under Zico showed that the German's decision to leave might benefit the national side, so Winnie has from now until the end of the season to convince the Thai jury of his coaching credentials.

Meanwhile, leaders Buriram should be able to preserve their four point lead at the top with the visit of Bangkok United while third placed Chonburi won't take Samut Songkram lightly especially after they did the double over the Sharks in 2012.

Suphanburi have been dealt the Sisaket free weekend pass, so wins on the road for Bangkok Glass and Army United would move them to within touching distance of Suphanburi. BG will be expecting no favors from former coach Surachai while Army will be the first opponents for Osotspa's new coach Chalermwoot, who was most recently manager at Pattaya United.

Songkhla's fine run ended last time out when they lost at Bangkok United and they'll be seeking to bounce back when they host TOT. Chiang Rai Utd and Pattaya Utd have both endured miserable campaigns so far, but the winner of this match up could see some light at the end of the tunnel as Leg 2 approaches. Police and Ratchaburi will also be slightly disappointed with their starts and both need to start picking up wins if they are to avoid being sucked into the relegation battle.

Division 1

BBCU v Saraburi
Khon Kaen v Air Force
PTT Rayong v Nakhon Ratchasima
Rayong Utd v Phuket
Sriracha v Trat

Krabi v Bangkok FC
Rayong FC v TTM
Siam Navy v Ayutthaya
Singh Tarua v Nakhon Pathom Utd

PTT Rayong v Nakhon Ratchasima takes centre stage this Saturday. The Swatcats have edged themselves onto the exterior of the promotion chase and three points in Map Kha would shift them firmly into the picture. A loss though, would move PTT ten points clear of Korat which would probably be too much of a gap for the Swatcats to claw back.
Elsewhere on Saturday, leaders Air Force travel to Khon Kaen. The T-Rex have been leaking goals for fun on away trips lately, but their home form has been fairly decent with only one loss in seven this term. BBCU v Saraburi has a mid-table feel to it while plummeting Rayong Utd host Phuket FC. The Elephant Warriors haven't won for ten matches, but they'll take some encouragement from Phuket's poor away form that has seen only one success on the road.

Singh Tarua are coming back into form after a shaky April and May. They'll be expecting three points off Nakhon Pathom on Sunday as will Bangkok FC when they travel to a out of sorts Krabi. The Energy have lost their last four outings and sit only four points above the trap door.

The other three matches on Sunday bear upon the bottom four with Rayong FC v TTM being the proverbial six pointer. A win for either probably won't be enough to move out of danger, yet a Sriracha win at home to Trat should do it for them. I won't predict who will win this match, although I'll stick my neck out and say it will be a high scoring affair. Siam Navy and Ayutthaya are currently in safe water, but the loser of this tie might be in the relegation sector come Monday morning.

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