Port’s second chance as race for ACL place heats up

As the Thai League season enters the final straight, Buriram United’s march to their fifth title in six years is one of the few things that looks certain.

But there is plenty of intrigue elsewhere as the battles to beat the drop and finish second heat up.

Here are three things to look out for on Thai League Matchday 25.

  1. Port aim to end United jinx

 Port FC’s ambition to finish second faces a huge test on Sunday as they travel to meet bogey team Bangkok United.

Mano Polking’s side have put 12 goals past the men from Klong Toey in their past three encounters and conceded just twice.

Port’s form has been patchy of late and they needed an added-time strike to squeeze into the quarter finals of the FA Cup as they edged Trat FC on Wednesday.

But the nature of the victory – a 3-2 win after being 2-0 down – will have lifted morale ahead of this pivotal match.

The Bangkok Angels will also have been boosted by last week’s 2-1 win at Chiang Rai United, setting things up nicely for this clash.

IMG_9034

There should be a good away following in attendance at Thammasat Stadium. Three points for Bangkok United would leave them in a very strong position to take second spot and a place in the AFC Champions League (ACL) qualifiers.

Any other result would leave things finely balanced going into the final nine games of the campaign.

  1. Time for Totchtawan to deliver

 The arrival of former Muang Thong United head coach Totchtawan Sripan seemed a timely boost for a Police Tero side that were sliding towards relegation in June.

One month on and things have scarcely improved. Totchtawan has yet to win a game at his new club

Three of his four matches at the helm have been against clubs that are not yet out of the relegation battle but they have taken just two points from those games.

Sunday sees another crunch fixture with the visit of Bangkok Glass. The Glass Rabbits leapfrogged Tero with their impressive comeback win over Muang Thong United last week, sitting above them on goal difference.

IMG_1790

Totchtawan came to Tero with a big reputation but results so far have not enhanced it.

The man who took Muang Thong to the ACL Round of 16 has the opportunity to prove his worth when his side attempt to win a league fixture for the first time in two months.

Totchtawan selected a second string in Tero’s 4-1 defeat to Chonburi in the FA Cup on Wednesday so only three points here will justify that meek surrender.

  1. Chonburi hope to bring cup form to Chainat

 Chonburi destroyed Police Tero 4-1 in their midweek FA Cup tie, two weeks after thumping Muang Thong United 5-1 in the League Cup.

While cup form has been impressive, league performances have fluctuated wildly in the past couple of months. There have been good wins at Sukhothai and at home to Suphanburi but also pitiful displays in defeats to Bangkok Glass and Navy FC.

It is difficult to know which Chonburi will show up but since the shambolic 7-4 loss at Bangkok Glass, the Sharks have been more consistent and were unfortunate not to take something from their home game against Buriram United last week.

They have reserved their best for the domestic cups, however, with the thrashing of Muang Thong one of their finest performances in the last few years.

Victory at Chainat on Saturday evening would go a long way to securing T1 status for next year, while defeat could theoretically leave them just four points above the drop zone.

It is a big game for both sides and Chonburi will hope that Braziian striker Matheus Alves continues his excellent form since signing in mid-season.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.