Thursday, March 20, 2014

Matchday 4 Preview


Police v Army
PTT Rayong v Suphanburi
Chiang Rai Utd v Samut Songkhram
Ratchaburi v Air Force
Songkhla v Muangthong
TOT v Sisaket

BEC Tero v Chonburi
Chainat v Osotspa Saraburi
Bangkok Utd v Singh Tarua
Bangkok Glass v Buriram Utd

The two sides propping up the table meet at the United Stadium. It's slightly surprising to see both Chiang Rai United and Samut Songkhram in the bottom 2 considering they both strengthened well during the New Year period. Chiang Rai's solitary point came away at PTT Rayong while Samut Songkhram grabbed theirs on the first weekend at home to BEC Tero. The fact that their only point was picked up on home turf is slightly concerning as they won't be playing any fixtures at their notorious Samut Songkhram stadium anytime in the near future. In six previous TPL match-ups, Chiang Rai have never lost to Samut Songkhram and in that time they've only conceded one goal to the Raging Mackerels.

The Songkhla v Muangthong fixture can boast the highest ever TPL attendance with 30,000+ cramming into the Tinsulanon back in 2012. On that day Muangthong won 4-1 and since then they've won every meeting with the side formerly known as Wuachon.

Singh Tarua fans would have bitten your hand off if you'd have offered them third place after three matches and on Sunday they'll return to one of their former stomping grounds. The Thai Japanese Stadium once played host to PAT home fixtures but that was back in the day when there were more dogs in the stadium than paying spectators. Leandro has scored all of Tarua's goals this season and he's the man Bangkok United need to stop.

Three defeats in a week have brought Buriram back to Earth with a bang. The loss of Osmar Ibanez is all too apparent at both ends of the field. Bangkok Glass have never beaten Buriram since they evolved from PEA into their current form and this will be seen as BG's best chance to end that unwanted sequence.

PTT Rayong and Suphanburi have encountered each other several times in the first division but this will be their first ever meeting in the top flight. The same can be said for Ratchaburi and Air Force and on current form this must be a home banker. 

Sisaket can be relatively pleased with their start and they appear more likely to beat the drop than their hosts TOT. The Laksi side have only netted once this term and that was late on at Army last week. Army travel to Police this Saturday and it's fair to say that Police have recovered well after their opening day trouncing at Chonburi. Since the first day, Chonburi have drawn twice and they meet one of their favorite foes this weekend. In the last 11 meetings with BEC Tero, Chonburi have won ten and drawn one. Their last defeat to the Fire Dragons came back in 2008. 

Osotspa's stay at their temporary Rajamangala home has been unproductive so they'll be glad to be on the road again. They make the 90 minute journey up to Chainat.

Division 1

Sriracha v Ayutthaya
Bangkok FC v Saraburi
Chiang Mai v Roi Et Utd
Khon Kaen v Siam Navy
Krabi v Phuket
Trat v Nakhon Ratchasima

TTM Customs v Ang Thong
Nakhon Pathom Utd v Phitsanulok
BBCU v Pattaya Utd

Two of the joint leaders clash on Sunday. Top ranked Ang Thong travel to Lat Krabang to take on fourth placed TTM. Both sides have seven points and I think it’s fair to say that their presence in the top 4 is rather unexpected.
The two sides sandwiched in between Ang Thong and TTM are Saraburi and Nakhon Ratchasima. Saraburi have their most difficult task of the season to date when they visit Bangkok FC while Korat would be slightly disappointed if they don't collect anything from their trip to Trat.
At the other end, the hapless Chonburi duo will start as second favorites in their weekend matches. Pattaya will have to beware of the league’s highest scorer, Julius Oiboh, when they visit BBCU. The youth of Sriracha have a tough task trying to contain the vastly experienced Ayutthaya.
In the south, it’s the first derby of the season between Krabi and Phuket while in the north Chiang Mai host Roi Et and Khon Kaen entertain Siam Navy. Phitsanulok have played three and drawn three thus far. Making that number 4 four wouldn’t be seen as too bad an outcome at Nakhon Pathom.

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