MD 6 PREVIEW: Port hope to light up PAT Stadium as BG return to action

Port FC aim to put an embarrassing episode behind them when they welcome BG Pathum United to the PAT stadium on Matchday Six of the Thai League (T1) season.

Port were pushing for a late winner when, with the score tied at 1-1, their floodlights failed at home to Police Tero last weekend. As a result, Jadet Meelarp’s side had to forfeit the three points as Tero were awarded a 2-0 victory.

Port will be hoping the only drama will come on the pitch when they take on a strong-looking BG side on Saturday.

After last week’s Covid-related postponements, Bangkok United and Ratchaburi are back in action, and they will have the opportunity to extend their 100 per cent winning records.

Here are some matches to look forward to on T1 Matchday Six.

BG target winning return

Saturday’s clash at Port will be BG’s first competitive fixture in over six months. Having invested so much in the squad, they will see this a test of their title credentials against a fellow challenger. 

While BG have impressive options in defence and midfield, the absence of a reliable goal scorer remains a potential issue. The likes of Chenrop Samphaodi and Siroch Chattong may be considered attackers but they are known more for their muscle than their shooting. 

There are plenty of goals in the Port FC side but it remains to be seen how they are going to put the pieces together into a coherent attacking unit. Nelson Bonilla’s debut last weekend highlighted his lack of match fitness, while Heberty Fernandes and Sergio Suarez continue to provide a goal threat from deep. Adisak Kraisorn may be a good option up against the muscular BG defence.

If Go Seul-ki is fit after suspension, he should provide a better screen for the defence than we saw against Tero last week and he could have a key role to play in what is likely to be a tight match.

Bangkok Angels bid to end Suphanburi run

Suphanburi are certainly making the most of their reprieve, taking 10 points in the first five matches, having survived a brush with relegation last year. Only PTT Rayong’s withdrawal from the Thai League kept the War Elephant in T1, and they have surprised many with their form.

Last Saturday’s 2-0 home win against Suphanburi was their third victory and clean sheet on the trot. The form of Kasidech Wettayawong has been a revelation, with the one-time hot prospect at Muang Thong United thriving in an advanced role. 

However, Bangkok United will offer a different challenge to the clubs they have defeated on their winning streak. Mano Polking’s side will be keen to make it five wins out of five and move further clear of title rivals BG and/or Port FC.

Bangkok United’s expansive style will create a threat from many areas of the field, and this will really test the Suphanburi backline, especially without injured skipper Suphan Thongsong. Clean sheets for Adebayo Gdabedo’s side have come against Nakhon Ratchasima, Rayong and Prachuap, who have all struggled this year. It will be a significant upset if Suphanburi make it four wins and four clean sheets on the spin.

Tero test for Ratchaburi

Like Suphanburi, Police Tero have surprised many with their form this year. Having beaten Buriram United on Matchday One, they have taken 12 points from five games, albeit last week’s “win” at Port FC was somewhat fortuitous given the circumstances.

Nevertheless, Tero played well at Port, with Patomphon Charoenrattanaphirom’s energetic performance in midfield earning him a lot of praise. The intensity of the pressing and the impressive teamwork made Rangsan Viwatchaichok’s team look a force to be reckoned with, and Ratchaburi will certainly have to be on top form as they look to extend their 100 per cent record.

The Dragons have formidable attacking options in the shape of Steeven Langil, Yannick Boli, Lossemy Karaboue and Javier Patino, and there is a depth in the squad that has some people considering them as dark horses for the title.

For now, they will just be happy to be back on the pitch, and they know they are likely to have it tough against the side sitting alongside them on 12 points.

Swatcats hope for a happy homecoming

Nakhon Ratchasima have waited a longer time than most for football to come home. Due to stadium renovations, the Swacats four fixtures were all scheduled for away grounds, and last week they returned to action in a 2-0 loss at Ratchaburi.

Head coach Teerasak Po-on has his work cut out to try and turn around the fortunes of his team as they sit in 13th spot, having lost four out of five matches so far. It is unfortunate that circumstances dictate that this team will be cheered on by a fraction of the 80th Anniversary Stadium’s 25,000 capacity when they host champions Chiang Rai United.

The Beetles were again unimpressive last weekend, but they still took three points at home to Prachuap FC. They will be looking to Ekanit Panya to rediscover the form of last season as they seek to stay in touch with the league leaders.

Paul Murphy

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