Honda away is coming up this Wednesday 7.00 p.m., so the most important part of this preview is the location of Honda’s ground. The 72nd Anniversary Stadium is here.
If you are heading there try to work out a way to head off as soon as possible to avoid the rush-hour traffic.
Port v Honda in 2013 saw unprecedented levels of hysteria at the PAT. Port knocked in 8 goals crushing Honda 8-1. The highest goal tally I’ve ever seen, and I couldn’t find anyone around me who’d seen a game with more Port goals. Heady days, but that was a long time ago and at home. The last time Port played at the 72nd Anniversary Stadium it was Port that looked all at sea as our then new manager decided to play Genki at left back and their Scary Foreign Striker ran rings around a tired defence. Our 2-1 defeat changed a challenge for the Division 1 championship into a scramble for promotion. And it took bloody ages to get out of the car park. Estimates vary, but it was around 45 minutes staring at the back of buses as cars inched through the logjam that always happens on the slip road you take to get to the main road.
I put my name down to write this preview in the hope I’d be talking about Honda’s woeful form, and Port’s chances of avenging last season’s defeat. Honda haven’t had a great start losing, away to Navy and Supanburi, but sandwiched between those losses was a 1-0 win over Bangkok United at home. Yes, the same Bangkok United that demolished Port 6-2. That result coupled with Port’s away form does not bode well for Wednesday. Honda were battered 5-1 by Buriram at the weekend so we will see how they react to that. At least we know they are vulnerable. I think a draw would be an OK result on Wednesday.
The Bangkok United fixture had a gate of only 1,300. Hopefully Port can muster enough away support to drown out Honda and make the 72nd Anniversary Stadium feel like home. That would seem to be the key for Port, making this feel like a home game. Tim asked me last week “when was the last time you saw us win away?” and I really had to struggle to think of when. Of course the 1-1 away draw with Muangthong in last year’s cup was a brilliant away result. Our last away win was June 16th 2016 3-1 in the FA cup. That’s a long time without an away win especially as we were in Division One last year where we were a class above most of the sides. We really need to sort out our away form hoodoo, some sort of chicken sacrifice on the way to the game maybe. After the drubbing in the yellow shirts we might see the black 3rd strip get an outing on Wednesday. We need an away win at some point to stop the long barren away spell.
Honda’s Key Player
Unfortunately there’s no point praying to God, a la Maranhao, as Honda already have Jesus on their side. Anyone at Honda away last year will remember Jesus taking control of the area. Although he didn’t score he looked dangerous throughout and had tons of chances. Jesus is the classic Scary Foreign Striker and got 13 goals last year. He’s very strong in the box and good at getting on the end of crosses. (Inspired – Ed)
Rochela (22) v Jesus, it’s a David versus Goliath matchup, and if Rochela can keep Jesus under control Port can make a game of it.
Port’s last away result was to ship 6 goals, so Jadet may move to a more defensive set up. I hope he doesn’t, and I hope we get the chance to see Josimar trying to snatch an early goal and put some pressure on Honda.
I was great to finally see Tatchanon (39) take up his rightful place as our best holding midfield player. Still a massive mystery why it’s taken Jadet so long to put him there. Tana (99) on the left wing experiment was odd. I’m not a massive fan of Genki (18) or Ekkapoom(8) but either would have been better options. Josimar (30) looks a class player and must have done enough to get in the starting line up again. Our best lineup would be this:
Meechok (20), Dolah(4), Rochela (22) , Pinkong (19)
Pakorn(9) Suarez(5), Tatchanon(39) Siwakorn(16) Genki (18)
We could see some rotation with three games in eight days. Changes just to keep people fresh could be Ekkapoom on the left wing maybe Todsapol (6) for Dolah(4). And we could see Piyachat(88) switch with Tatchanon.
Honest Form Prediction – Honda 1-1 Port
Hopeful I Love Port Prediction – Rochela takes care of Jesus, Josimar pops up to nick a goal. It is possible – Honda 0-1 Port