Muang Thong have revenge in mind as Buriram come to town

Sunday sees Thailand’s big guns do battle but there will be little at stake but bragging rights between bitter rivals Muang Thong United and Buriram United on Matchday 30 of the Thai League (T1).

However, if the champions win and second-placed Bangkok United lose, Bozidar Bandovic’s side will be champions for the fifth time in six years.

With Buriram 18 points ahead of Muang Thong, the Kirins will simply want to send out a warning shot that next year will be more competitive.

Elsewhere, the relegation battle continues to throw up a number of intriguing clashes.

Here are five things to look out of on T1 Matchday 30.

  1. Jaja and Curcic look to make Buriram pay

It has taken time for Jaja Coelho to find his best form for Muang Thong United, having surprisingly been let go by Buriram last year.

Thunder Castle president Newin Chidchob made some unflattering remarks about the Brazilian’s off-field lifestyle and Jaja will hope to show that he has rediscovered the deadly form that helped Buriram to last year’s title.

The 32-year-old has struck five times in three games – all in comeback wins for the Kirins.

Meanwhile, Muang Thong head coach Radovan Curcic will also be looking for some payback having been thrashed 4-0 in the northeast on his first game in charge back in May.

But Buriram are unlikely to fold under pressure in the manner of Police Tero last weekend and Ratchaburi in midweek.

If Muang Thong give their opponents a head-start this time, there may be no way back for Jaja and his team-mates.

  1. Totchtawan leaves Tero in limbo

Totchtawan Sripan has fallen on his sword with just five games remaining and his Police Tero side in the relegation zone.

The former Muang Thong United head coach won the T1 title just two years ago but has found it impossible to make a positive impact at Tero.

The 4-2 defeat at home to the Kirins last week was a killer blow, having seen his side take a 2-0 lead and the 3-1 loss at Pattaya United in midweek was perhaps confirmation that he wasn’t he the man to save the day.

Saturday’s match at home to relegated Air Force United is an absolute must-win with or without Totchtawan.

Tero surely have the quality in attack to take the three points against Jason Brown’s battling but depleted squad.

  1. Cleiton holds key to Suphanburi survival

Things looked bleak for the War Elephant last weekend when they were beaten 1-0 at home by relegation rivals Sukhothai.

But they quickly recovered their composure in midweek, winning 3-1 at Air Force United thanks to a double from Cleiton Silva and he will be expected to be on target at home to Ubon UMT United on Saturday.

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The striker’s time has come to prove his worth to the club by grabbing the goals that secure their T1 future.

His three goals in the last three games suggest that he is finding form at the right time.

Meanwhile, Ubon’s relegation will be confirmed if they fail to take three points here but even a win would surely be just a temporary stay of execution.

  1. Ratchaburi need to keep their heads

Ratchaburi cannot seem to hold onto a lead and this inability has seen them lose three of the last four games 2-1, having opened the scoring.

Jaja’s added-time winner in Wednesday’s clash with Muang Thong saw tantrums thrown as they looked to the referee as the man to blame.

But the Dragons must focus on the task at hand and start winning games or they will be back in the second tier for the first time since 2012.

Ratchaburi host Chainat on Sunday, sitting level on points with their opponents, just above the relegation places, with the two teams below them having very winnable games.

Dennis Amato has steadied the ship at Chainat with two draws following the damaging defeat at home to Ubon. But the Hornbills have gone seven games without a win, while their hosts have won just one in 11, losing the last four.

It really should be no-holds barred in this one as a draw will not be a great result for either side.

  1. Angels aim to put Sharks back in trouble

A valuable point at Prachuap in midweek edged Chonburi another point closer to safety as they pulled six points clear of the drop zone.

But the league is so tightly packed that a defeat here could see them just three points off a relegation place at the end of the night. They will be hoping that Matheus Alves is fit again to provide the goals his club badly needs.

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Bangkok United are determined to secure the runners-up spot at the earliest opportunity and they will also want to take advantage of any slips by Buriram to stay in the title race by their fingertips.

On the other hand, a Chonburi victory and a Buriram win would see the title heading northeast once again.  

 

 

 

 

 

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