Football Tribe Thailand
The Thai League (T1) Matchday 11 kicks off in style on Saturday as league leaders Port FC welcome 6th place Bangkok United.
Although touted as serious title challengers, the visitors have been extremely inconsistent this season – having collected four wins, three draws, and three losses so far. Until now, the Angels have only won away once, managing a 1-0 victory over newly-promoted Trat FC, while their previous T1 game was a 1-1 draw away at Chiangmai FC (though to be, fair poor referring did play a huge part in the result).
This could prove to be an emotional game for the hosts, following midweek’s tragic road accident that took the lives of five of the club’s beloved hardcore fans. The club is planning a memorial service 2 hours before kick off, with all ticket revenue being given to the families of those involved in the accident.
Port coach Jadet Meelarp practically fielded a B-Team in midweek’s League Cup defeat to Nongbua Pitchaya FC, so we can expect the likes of Elias Dolah, Siwakorn Jakkuprasat and Go Seul-Ki to be fully fit.
As for the game itself, under head coach Mano Polking, Bangkok United have won all of their past 8 battles with Port FC. However, the hosts have only shipped four goals at the PAT Stadium so far this season, where they currently remain undefeated.
A large number of fans have been particularly vocal about Elias Dolah’s exclusion from Thailand’s 35-man Kings Cup preliminary squad. However, the defender could actually use this opportunity to prove himself worthy of a national team call up if he can keep striker Nelson Bonilla quiet. The Bangkok United talisman has been involved with 8 goals in his last 5 league appearances, showing encouraging signs that he is adapting well to life at his new club.
Elsewhere, PT Prachuap FC travels to Samut Prakan City- a victory for the Killer Wasps could see them overtake the Sea Fang at 5th position.
Meanwhile 3rd place Chiangrai United could potentially overtake Buriram United, who are not playing this weekend, with a home win over Chonburi FC. In the league, the Beetles have not lost a home game against Chonburi since matchday 14 of the 2013 season, and are yet to be beaten by the Sharks in their last 3 league meetings. Add to that Chonburi FC’s dismal away form, and the statistics lean heavily in favor of Chiangrai on Sunday.