Surging Swatcats target Top Five scalp

Nakhon Ratchasima are setting their sights higher as they aim for a fifth successive win when they host fifth-placed Ratchaburi on Thai League (T1) Matchday 18 on Wednesday

The Swatcats had brushed aside three struggling sides just before the six-week Covid suspension. On Sunday, they then dismissed out-of-sorts Chonburi with an energetic display which was a far cry from the sluggish performances we saw earlier in the season.

Teerasak Po-On’s side now want to keep climbing the table with what should be a tougher challenge against a team that is currently in the Top Five.

In Wednesday’s other big match, Bangkok United visit champions Chiangrai United, having been boosted by a 3-0 weekend win over Samut Prakan City.

Here’s what to look out for in two of Wednesday’s big matches.

Nakhon Ratchasima Vs Ratchaburi

Nakhon Ratchasima have gone from a strong candidate for relegation to a team that seems to be going places due to four straight wins and burgeoning confidence.

The Swatcats are playing with a swagger and Sunday’s 2-0 win at home to Chonburi could have been more convincing if it hadn’t been for some inspired goalkeeping and poor finishing.

Midfield general Gidi Kanuk is looking like an excellent signing, while the Swatcats hardly seemed to miss the departed Leandro Assumpcao on Sunday.

Ratchaburi will be desperate to get back on track, having seen a very promising campaign hit a troubled spell with three defeats in the last four games. Those three losses have all come against teams that were on a winning streak. The Dragons may be facing another side at the wrong time for them.

Chiangrai United Vs Bangkok United

Bangkok United fans will hope that Sunday’s impressive 3-0 victory at home to Samut Prakan City was an indication that the second half of the season will be better than the first. 

The Bangkok Angels had won just one of their previous 11 matches, as one of the most talented squads slipped into mid-table and started looking more like relegation candidates than the title challengers we anticipated seeing.

Head coach Totchtawan Sripan will be desperate to follow up the weekend win with another positive result at Chiangrai United. The defending champions will provide a stern test, but the visitors would move to within two points of the Beetles with a victory.

Chiangrai, meanwhile, will aim to follow up a good result of their own with another three points. They defeated Trat 3-1 on Saturday and will be looking to go level on points with Buriram United again, with the Thunder Castle having won at Port FC on Tuesday.

In Wednesday’s other action, relegation-threatened Suphanburi will feel they must win at home to bottom club Rayong, while Samut Prakan City will hope to bounce back from a disappointing weekend defeat when they host Police Tero

Paul Murphy

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