Bangkok United finished the 2021-22 campaign in third place, 9 points behind eventual champions Buriram. They were in a title race against the Thunder Castle for the first half of the season, before a major dip in form dragged them into a tense battle for Champions League places with Muangthong United instead.
However, the AFC’s decision to postpone the 2023 edition of the competition meant that Bangkok United lost their qualifying slot, with the berths being split over two seasons. As such the Angels have nothing to show for their hard work last season and are now involved in a legal battle with the Football Association. Regardless, the outcome shouldn’t impact their expectations, as the club will expect to be in and amongst the top sides again.
Head Coach – Aurelio Vidmar
After parting ways with BG Pathum United for the second time, Vidmar took over from Totchtawan Sripan with just six games left in the campaign last season. His four wins from those games were enough to turn their sliding form around.
After completing a full pre-season with the side, Vidmar will finally be settled in the hotseat and aim to make his mark on team. After seeing two relatively successful spells with Bangkok United’s crosstown rivals cut short due to overhead meddling, he will be pleased to know his new club has a reputation for giving their head coaches time and space to work.
Key Player: Thitipan Puangchan (Central midfielder, age 28)
Established Thai international Thitipan was arguably Bangkok United’s standout performer last season after making the switch across Rangsit from BG Pathum. On his day, the energetic box-to-box midfielder is able to turn the tide of matches on his own, whether it’s by rushing and harrowing the opposition or playing a killer pass to his team’s forwards.
Rising Star: Chayathorn Tapsuvanavon (Central midfielder, age 21)
Long considered Bangkok United’s most promising young talent, Chayathorn spent the second half of last season on loan with T2 side Siam Navy FC. Known for his elegant touch and eye for a pass, he can be deployed either at the base of midfield or in a more advanced playmaker role. However, given the tough competition for places in the middle of the park, he will need to beat out some pretty established names to win playing time.
Expectations for the season
Given the strength of Buriram United and BG Pathum, a second consecutive third-place finish with a (spirited title charge) would likely be seen as a success for the side. Scooping up one of the domestic cups will surely also be high on the agenda for a side that hasn’t won a major honor in 16 years.