Thai League 2020 Predictions – 10th to 6th

With the Thai League set to begin this weekend, Football Tribe’s Obb Deewajin and Gian Chansrichawla attempt to predict where each club will finish in 2020.

10th - Sukhothai FC

It has been a busy transfer window for Sukhothai FC that saw them snatch up Surapong Kongthep as their new head coach as well as revamping their front-3 with the signings of two Brazilian strikers, Ibson Melo and Evandro Paulista. Together with the magnificent John Baggio, the Firebats may have just assembled one of Thai League's most exciting forward lines in 2020. Still, the squad lacks creativity in midfield and may take some time adapting to coach Surapong's ideas. Thus, I can see them having a slow start, but they have an excellent local coach in Surapong, so it's highly unlikely they'll be relegated. 11th place is a reasonable finish.

9th - Nakhon Ratchasima FC

Nakhon Ratchasima did well to secure the service of Teerasak Po-on, who is a well-respected tactician. However, the Swatcat’s main concern this season, or at least the beginning, is adapting to a more possession-based style of football. Getting Wongsakorn Chaikultewin on-loan is a bargain, as the Thai youth international will add that much needed creative from midfield they lacked last season. Dennis Murillo’s scoring record in half a season with PTT Rayong is encouraging - he may be able to replace Bernard Henry, who is somewhat wasteful in front of goal at times. Putting them at 9th is pretty generous but it’s mainly because there are a few sides which are clearly worse than Nakhon Ratchasima - don’t expect Korat to go much higher though.

8th - BG Pathum United

Poor pre-season performances and results suggest BG Pathum United, who invested heavily in the transfer market, may need time for their squad to gel. Add to that a tough start to the season which sees the Rabbits welcome SCG Muangthong United, followed by a tough away trip to PT Prachuap FC, back home to face fellow promoted side Police Tero FC, a grueling trip to Trat FC and then a home game against Buriram United - quite an unfortunate first 5 games. BGPU aren’t known to be very patient so a rocky start will surely have an effect on the rest of the season. Still, there is plenty of quality and depth in the squad to do well, even though the top five places are too much to ask for, in my opinion.

7th - Prachuap FC

We rated Prachuap glowingly in our "Thai League Transfer Window Grades 2020" article so don't be surprised to see the Killer Wasp so high on our table prediction. Despite finishing 9th, Thawatchai Damrong-Ongtrakul’s side had the third-worst scoring record in T1, and the arrival of Willian Henrique and Bruno Mezenga may be about to change that. Jonatan Reis and Amorn Thammanarm tore the opposition defences to pieces in 2018 and Prachuap really missed the two in 2019. Thus I can see Willian Henrique being a massive hit this season. The League Cup champions already look like a solid unit during pre-season - a reward for their continuity - and I can only see them growing stronger.

6th - Samut Prakan City FC

Samut Prakan gear up for their second season under their new guise with high expectations after generating no shortage of headlines and excitement last year. New coach Masatada Ishii arrives in Thailand with a strong record from his time with Kashima Antlers in the J.League and has been able to make strong additions to the side. The Sea Fang already stood out for their discipline and organization last season and could've even mounted a charge for the Champions League places if it wasn't for a massive stagnation during the second half of the campaign. Many are expecting a more steely and pragmatic Samut Prakan side this season as the players aim to build on their success, but the competition for places at the upper end of the table will be fierce, and a second consecutive sixth-place finish won't be too much of a disappointment.