Football Tribe Thailand
The Thai League’s early Saturday kickoff is an interesting tie between this season’s over-performer Trat FC and under-performer Muangthong United. Alexandre Gama’s side fell victim to Sasom Probprasert’s Chonburi FC last week, but squad morale should improve after Wednesday’s comfortable FA Cup victory.
The Brazilian boss will be taking charge of the team at home for the first time, where Munagthong only conceded 6 goals so far, compared to 16 on the road.
As for the visiting side, the White Elephants are unbeaten in 8 league games. However, this game could be their biggest test yet. Phayong Khunnaen will be missing the service of Nukoolkit Krutyai (centreback), Wongsakorn Chaikultewin (midfield) and Chenrop Samphaodi (striker), who are all on loa from Muangthong and have been outstanding in Trat FC’s rise to 5th place.
Gama’s will be aiming for nothing less than three points and is a strong position to do so. As for Trat FC, a draw would’ve been an acceptable result, extending their unbeaten run and ending the first leg on the high.
Later that night, T1 leaders Buriram welcome newly-promoted Chiangmai FC. A win for the Thunder Castle could extend their gap at the top of the table to four points – adding that bit of extra pressure to 2nd place Port FC who play on Sunday.
Speaking about Port FC, they are set for a trip to Samut Prakan City. The Sea Fang is still riding on Surapong Kongthep’s momentum so the Klongtoei Lions can expect a tough away battle although a win is a must.
Jadet Meelarp fielded a strong XI as they beat a weaken Sukhothai FC side in the FA Cup so some players might not be as fresh as they would have liked. However, all of the players who started against Buriram is fit, and Go Seul-Ki will return to action after sitting out last week’s game against his parent club. yet the squad is good enough to beat Samut Prakan City.
Elsewhere, Bangkok United will be looking for their fourth league win in a row as they 11th place PTT Rayong. Mano Polking chose to rest marauding fullback Tristan Do and playmaker Vander Luiz during the Angels’ hard-fought FA Cup triumph over T2 leaders BG Pathum United.
Additionally, the Angels will be without one of their most important players this season, attacking midfielder Vander Luis. The Brazilian is the hands down Bangkok United’s best player at the moment, having registered 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 league outings. The side struggled during his injury-related absence earlier this season, and could again this weekend.
As for Do, he could be the key figure as Bangkok United target PTT Rayong’s weakness at left-back. Mano Polking’s side almost always comes to life in the 2nd leg and what better way to do so than a win over the Fire Power which should guarantee that they finish the first half of the season in third place.