Thursday, September 19, 2013

Matchday 29 Preview


BEC Tero v Chiang Rai Utd
Chonburi v Songkhla Utd
Ratchaburi P-P Sisaket
Samut Songkhram v Muangthong Utd

Army Utd v Buriram Utd
Bangkok Utd v Bangkok Glass
Osotspa Saraburi v Police Utd
Pattaya Utd v Chainat
TOT v Suphanburi

After a run of six games which has seen Chiang Rai Utd collect only two points, the Fighting Beetles have turned to BG's Anurak Srikerd to save them from the drop. With six fixtures to fulfill plus the concluding last quarter from the abandoned Samut Songkhram match, it was deemed by the top brass that Henk Wisman's services weren't sufficient to prevent the club from taking the drop. The northerners have only won twice all season and they'll possibly need to win four of their remaining fixtures to have any realistic chance of staying up. Anurak has a tough start this Saturday with Tero (A), followed by Army (H) and Chonburi (A). They'll then conclude the Samut Songkhram game before three winnable contests against Ratchaburi (H), Pattaya Utd (A) and Bangkok Utd (H).

Another foreign coach enduring tough times is Franz Schwarzwalder of Songkhla United. Since the German replaced Jadet Meelarp at the end of leg 1, Songkhla have only collected six points from ten games, and have been scoring an average of 0.5 goals a game. Thankfully, the Fighting Bulls have enough points in the bank not to be dragged into relegation matters. Nevertheless, you will get long odds on them winning at Chonburi this weekend.

Also on Saturday, Muangthong could briefly reduce the gap on Buriram to two points should they win at Samut Songkhram. It won't be easy as the stadium in Samut Songkhram will be packed and playing on their notoriously soaked pitch at the peak of the rainy season makes it a lottery. This match was originally scheduled for Sunday but it was brought forward 24 hours at the request of Muangthong to give them extra time to prepare for next Wednesday's FA Cup semi final with Buriram

The bulk of the weekend action takes place on Sunday. Buriram are in Bangkok to visit Army Utd. The Thunder Castle will need no reminding that they spurned a 3-0 lead last year at the Royal Thai Army Stadium as Army fought back for a point. Army United are currently involved in the scrap for fourth place with Suphanburi and Bangkok Glass. The latter pair will also be in the capital with Suphanburi at TOT and Glass at Bangkok United.

If you cut the Osotspa v Police tie in half you would see 'mid-table' boldly printed inside of it. Eighth place Osotspa are currently four points ahead of Police who sit one place below them in ninth.
Pattaya's mini three game revival came to an end last week at Bangkok Glass. The visit of Chainat gives them a reasonable chance to get back on the winning trail.

Division 1

Ayutthaya v Saraburi
Nakhon Pathom Utd v BBCU
Phuket v Trat
Rayong Utd v Air Force
TTM v Sriracha

Bangkok FC v Siam Navy
Krabi v Rayong FC
Nakhon Ratchasima v Khon Kaen
PTT Rayong v Singh Tarua

The main clash of this round takes place on Sunday between PTT Rayong and Singh Tarua. The Port Lions have been formidable at the PAT Stadium lately with eight successive wins. Away from home, they've lost their last four and their last away win came at TTM over three months ago. The month of September hasn't been kind to PTT Rayong with only one point amassed out of a possible nine. In saying that, a win over Singh Tarua would leave them with one foot firmly in the TPL door.
Elsewhere on Sunday, a win for Bangkok FC over Siam Navy would see them close the gap on at least one of the aforementioned sides. The Iron Bulls have lost their last two games to lower half opposition so they won't be taking Navy lightly.
Rayong FC's last trip to Krabi ended painfully in 2011 when a 93rd minute equalizer earned Krabi promotion from the regional leagues at the expense of the Wild Horses. Nonetheless, a win for Rayong FC this weekend would be their fourth league win on the trot and would consequently suck Krabi back into the relegation mire.
The Esan derby has more riding on it for Khon Kaen than Nakhon Ratchasima as the T-Rex are only five points above the relegation line while the Swatcats are only 90 minutes off a place in the final of the Toyota league Cup. They'll start as favorites for the second leg after they fought out a goalless draw in Ratchaburi.

On Saturday, it's bottom versus top as Air Force travel to Rayong Utd. On paper it seems like an away banker but it should be noted that Air Force have only won once on their last seven road trips and that Rayong FC have collected seven from the last nine points available.
It should be packed at Ayutthaya as they welcome near neighbors Saraburi. The Ancient Warriors are only two points above safety and a home win is vital.
The winner of the TTM v Sriracha contest would virtually be home and dry while the matches between Nakhon Pathom v BBCU and Phuket v Trat have little riding on them other than pride.

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