Totchtawan aims to confirm that Bangkok United are back in business

Bangkok United have a daunting opportunity to continue their revival when they face champions elect BG Pathum United on Thai League (T1) Matchday 21.

Following a truly dismal run of just one win in 11 matches, Totchtawan Sripan’s side have won three of the last four.

They now have the chance to claim the scalp of unbeaten BG and show that their lowly league position of eighth is a misleading one.

Samut Prakan City host in-form Prachuap as the away side try to continue their recent recovery, while Sukhothai will be desperate to return to winning ways at home to Nakhon Ratchasima.

Totchtawan targets BG upset

When Totchtawan took over as Bangkok United head coach, they had taken just one point from six games, despite having taken 15 points from the previous five.

Totchtawan got off to a winning start with victory at Trat, but the new manager bounce failed to materialise and his team took just two points from the next four matches.

While the first Covid suspension took the wind out of Bangkok United’s sails, the second one seems to have had the opposite effect. The Bangkok Angels returned to action with a 3-0 victory over Samut Prakan City and Wednesday’s hard fought win at Suphanburi made it 10 points from four games since T1 resumed.

Before the start of the season, the idea of BG being 25 points ahead of Bangkok United at this stage would have seemed preposterous, but the Rabbits’ incredible run of form has left the rest of T1 for dead. However, this is a great opportunity for Totchtawan to show that his career is back on the right track following disappointing spells at Police Tero and Suphanburi.

With Heberty Fernandes scoring three times in his last two games, the visitors will have an in-form striker to test BG’s resilience in what promises to be an intriguing encounter.

Samut Prakan look to boost Top Five hopes

Samut Prakan City’s season has been a roller coaster ride – one that was encapsulated in 45 first-half minutes against Muangthong United on Wednesday. The Sea Fang went 2-0 behind after 22 minutes before roaring back to lead 4-2 at halftime.

Masatada Ishii’s side made a slow start after the Covid break, losing 3-0 at Bangkok United before losing a chaotic fixture 5-3 at home to Police Tero. A nervy 1-0 win at Rayong restored balance and then the swagger of old returned against the Kirins.

Only Port FC have scored more goals than Samut Prakan in T1, but even this weekend’s opponents Prachuap have conceded less. The Killer Wasps have escaped the relegation zone for the time being and should make for awkward opponents having won three of their last four games.

It will certainly be a contrast in styles as the attacking flair of Samut Prakan comes up against the more pragmatic Prachuap.

Suphanburi need to halt slide

Suphanburi are slipping closer to the fate they narrowly avoided in 2019, following a run of seven defeats in eight games. An impressive start to the 2020-21 campaign is now a distant memory as the War Elephant find themselves in yet another relegation battle.

Saturday’s match at home to Buriram United is an opportunity for a statement win even if recent form suggests it looks beyond them. The contrast with Buriram is stark as Alexandre Gama’s side have won six of their last seven matches, including a 5-0 demolition of Rayong in midweek.

Suphanburi’s new strike pair of Leandro Assumpcao and Caion both struck in midweek, but they couldn’t prevent another defeat as they fell 3-2 at home to Bangkok United. Suphanburi have been faced with a particularly tough run of fixtures, but they will need to take points from some of the better sides if they are to dig themselves out of trouble as they now sit three points from safety.

Sukhothai aim to bring Swatcats down to earth

Times were very different back in September when Nakhon Ratchasima looked set for a relegation struggle while Sukhothai were in contention for a place in the AFC Champions League qualifiers.

The Swatcats were on course for a home win over Sukhothai on Matchday 7, but the visitors fought back from 3-1 down to take a point. It did prove a turning point of sorts, however. It put an end to a run of four straight defeats for Nakhon Ratchasima and they have lost just twice since.

For Sukhothai, it brought an end to a three-match winning streak and they have won just three times since. Like Suphanburi, they have now lost seven of the last eight games. The Fire Bats are just three points above the relegation places in a season that started with great promise. 

Despite the contrast in recent form, a Sukhothai victory on Sunday would take them within three points of the Swatcats. Nakhon Ratchasima’s six-match winning streak ended with a decent draw at Chiangrai United on Thursday. Sukhothai will now hope to deliver the Swatcats’ first defeat since a 2-0 reverse at home to BG Pathum United in November.

Paul Murphy

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