The Thai League is finally set to return, providing a much-needed antidote for the nation’s football fans after the War Elephants’ dismal showing at the 2018 Asian Games. With well-rested players and coaches who have been given rare time to impose their style on their respective teams, there is hope that the league can come back with a bang.
Second-placed Bangkok United will be looking to re-invigorate their title charge when they host local rivals Bangkok Glass. The visitors have climbed out of the relegation zone with a run of three consecutive wins, giving this derby added importance to both teams. Neither can afford to lose as the season approaches it’s climax, with an intense encounter expected at the Thammasat Stadium.
League leaders Buriram are also likely to face a tough challenge as they are visited by sixth-placed Chiang Rai United. Both sides have many key players fatigued from their exploits at the Asian Games, with Buriram’s Supachai Jaided, Rattanakorn Maikami and Supachok Sarachart making the return journey from Indonesia alongside Chiang Rai’s Suriya Singmui, Shinnipat Lee-Oh, Chaiyawat Buran and Phitiwat Sukjitthamakul.
New Muangthong United coach Radovan Curcic will have relished the opportunity to work with his players over the break, as the core of the squad was put through intense training at the Kirin Valley Resort over the two-week break. Fans will be hoping that issues behind the scenes, including the departure of assistant and former caretaker boss Santi Chaiyaphuak, will not affect the team’s performance on the pitch as they prepare to face Chonburi.
Police Tero take on Sukhothai in a relegation six-pointer that could have lasting implications for the remainder of the season. Chainat Hornbill will also be looking to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone when they face Ubon UMT, who look likely to drop into the second division.
A clash between third-placed Port FC and fifth place Prachuap will be another game to keep an eye on, as both teams have developed a reputation for churning out fast-paced, high-scoring games this season.