Suphanburi aim to make it eight games without defeat when they host title challengers Port FC on Thai League (T1) Matchday 24.
The War Elephant remain in the relegation zone despite having racked up a seven-game unbeaten streak and they desperately need to start converting draws into wins if they are to stay in T1.
Nakhon Ratchasima face a huge test at Chonburi with head coach Milos Joksic under fire from fans, while Prachuap will hope that their midweek League Cup semifinal win boosts morale for their home clash with Bangkok United.
Here are three things to look out for on T1 Matchday 24.
- Suphanburi need wins not draws
Since Adebayo Gbadebo took over from struggling head coach Totchtawan Sripan, he has certainly got Suphanburi moving in the right direction again. The defence has conceded just three goals in seven T1 matches – a run that has included draws with Buriram United and Bangkok United.
At the other end of the pitch, however, just five goals have been scored by a blunt attack. Out-of-sorts Cleiton Silva and out-of-shape Guilherme Dellatorre cannot find the form to trouble opposing defences and grab the goals that would lift them to safety.
Photo credit: Suphanburi FC
This weekend does not look a good time to be facing Port FC who are buoyant after last Sunday’s stirring win over Muang Thong United. Choketawee Promrut’s side are dreaming of a title win again, having emerged from a slump that seemed set to kill off their hopes.
While Suphanburi’s strikers are struggling for goals, Port have been getting by without strikers, though Josimar will surely start after his all-action performance and clinching goal last week.
This match will either send Suphanburi deeper into relegation trouble or put another dent in Port’s title challenge. The momentum is very much with the away side and the War Elephant will have to find a cutting edge to earn the three points they need.
- Sharks lie in wait for under fire Milos
Nakhon Ratchasima’s season seems to be fizzling out to the extent that a relegation battle will be looming if the Swatcats lose this one. A single victory in nine T1 matches has seen them go from Top Five contenders to just four points above the relegation zone.
Such is the nature of this year’s compressed T1 table, a win here could take them as high as seventh, while they could slip back to 12th with a defeat. Head coach Milos Joksic has come under heavy criticism from fans for their recent form, with many calling for his head.
Photo credit: Nakhon Ratchasima FC
The wisdom of making a change at this crucial stage of the season would certainly be questionable but a Chonburi victory on Saturday would see the campaign to oust him gather further momentum.
Joksic needs a victory to relieve the pressure but Chonburi will be equally keen to take three points as they target a finish in the Top Six.
- Prachuap look for a lift after cup boost
Prachuap FC fans finally had something to cheer in midweek as their relegation threatened club reached the League Cup final after a shock win over holders Chiang Rai United. The Killer Wasps prevailed in a penalty shootout following a match that ended in a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes and a 3-3 tie after extra time.
Prachuap will now hope that the morale boost helps lift their T1 form. They have won just twice in a 17-match spell going back to the beginning of April.
Photo credit: Prachuap FC
Their opponents on Saturday – Bangkok United – are still clinging to their title hopes but, realistically, a run of seven wins in their last seven matches will be required and even that may not be enough with three clubs above them. They should have a decent chance of three points against a team that went through a 120-minute slog on Wednesday but the Prachuap pitch may not be best suited to their preferred style of football.
It has been a disappointing season for both clubs and they will be desperate to end it on a high. For Prachuap this means T1 survival, while for the Bangkok Angels, a failure to become Thai champions would only be offset by a second-place finish and an FA Cup triumph.