This Saturday sees the return of Thai Port Football, after a three-week drought with nothing but friendlies and futsal to quench the thirst. Suphanburi away is not an easy fixture, but this season it’s looking a lot more hospitable than it has in previous years. The Suphanburi players and all those Port fans that were there will remember the 3-2 comeback win for Port on 19th February, one of the best games of the season so far.
With Suphanburi in 11th place in the table they will be looking to take all the points on Saturday. Suphanburi’s home form has been passable seeing them beating weaker opposition like Navy , Superpower and Korat along with a draw against Ratchaburi. Losses to Ubon UMT and Chonburi can give the traveling fans some hope. The usually steady Suphanburi have faltered this year, and owner Warawut Silpa-archa – aka “Top” – will not be happy with that the team are not living up to his name.
The last transfer rumour round up on goal.com had midfielders D. Madrigal and Gilson on their way out of Suphan. It also announced the signing of “Elizeu Araújo de Melo Batista”, just “Batista” to his friends. I’m sure his enemies can think of a variation on that name. He’s a right back and a defensive midfielder who looks to be well past his best. There’s a Youtube video of him looking very good in 2009.
For fans of tortured streams of puns, the ones that get ever more tenuous throughout the game we are quids in, as Suphanburi have bought in the decent former Bangkok Glass right wing/right midfield Lazarus Kaimbi. This signing was surely made in the hope of resurrecting their season. If Suphan go a goal down he’s sure to be called up to lead the comeback.
Players to Watch
Dellatorre (9) was Suphanburi’s top scorer in 2016. He got Suphan’s two goals at PAT Stadium, so he will need to be monitored a bit more closely this time round. He definitely looks like the main threat up front.
Defender Marcelo Xavier (3) former Juventus player, (no, not that Juventus – “CA Juventus” in Sao Paulo) and former Botafogo player, (no, not that Botafogo in Brazilian Serie A in the Botafogo FC João Pessoa in Serie D). Marcelo seems to have made his name by tricking agents into believing he’s played at the highest levels in Italy and Brazil. This season he has been the heart of the Suphan defence. He also has an impressive 3 goals and 5 yellow cards, (still two behind Siwakorn), and at 6’2 he could provide another target on long crosses. The crosses may well be supplied by Lazarus on Saturday.
Marcelo is a Syrian footballer, yes he is totally Syrian and he’s got the passport and everything, and knows how to say many phrases in Arabic like “Thanks for the Passport” and “I’ll play the odd national team game for Syria if you need me”.
Key Match Ups
Rochela (22) v Dellatorre (9)
Josimar (30) v Marcelo Xavier (3)
The Suphanburi Provincial Stadium opened in 1947, and was formerly known as Suphanburi World War II Stadium. It was renamed after the Governor of Suphanburi watched episode six of Fawlty Towers, and thought it better not to mention the war anymore. In 2013 it was expanded and holds an impressive 25,000.
This is one of the many Provincial stadiums built for every sport under the sun so it has a running track. The away end is on the far curve as per usual. It’s similar to the National Stadium near Siam Square. The away end curve is a raised tier so gives a little bit of a better view than other running track grounds.
Meanwhile Back at Port
Great news! Weera (1) has left – it was always misleading having him as our number 1.
Likely Starting Lineup
In previous previews this has been the easiest section to write. This week it’s a bit more difficult, as this match comes slap bang in the middle of the transfer window. Port seem to have been juggling eight different foreign players as options for leg two. Of the new Thai signings I think Yossawat (28) will be on the bench. I would have picked him to start, but Tom reminded me he’s only played one friendly game with the team, then he went off to play with the Thai under 23 squad. I think we’ll see the central defender from Bangkok Glass Pravinwat (55) on the bench as a decent level of cover for Dolah (4) and Rochela (22).
So my prediction for the starting line-up is pretty much the same as the back end of last season. However, four weeks ago I’d have been confident about it, now it’s just a suggestion depending on how contract negotiations are going. Asdrubal (27) and Maranhao (92) have been with the Team for the friendlies but with the opening of the transfer window there are no definite signs of either being signed. Maranhao has posted a “thanks very much for all the support” message so he looks to be on his way out. Maranhao didn’t do that much in the last friendly, possibly because he knew he was on his way out. Still nothing 100% confirmed about Maranhao’s status. While writing this one of the Thai Port Facebook groups has reported he’s signed, but hold your celebrations as it’s not been confirmed by the club and that Facebook group has a 70% hit n’ miss record with transfer stories. To back up their claim Maranhao is now on the TPL League official squad list.
If Asdrubal is going to join us in the second leg, why hasn’t he been announced already? The injury problem that kept him away at the beginning of the season was said to be so serious he would be out for the whole year. In the last friendly Asdrubal put in some great crosses but never looked 100% fit. I think if he was going to be signed we would have done it already.
Matias Jadue was announced as a signing on some sites, but he still hasn’t been seen shopping with Madam Pang on Instagram, so I wouldn’t say it was definite signing. He has recently announced he’s come to terms with the Port, but Port haven’t come to terms with the need to tell anyone about it. Still no foreign signings have been confirmed by the club. Current time is 10.00 pm Thursday night. By the time you read this things may have changed.
Pakorn (9) meditating happily on the bench, perfectly at ease with his role in a team and willing to accept all things are as they must be..
Yossawat (28), possible second half sub on for Panpanpong (19).
Prawinwat (55), possible second half sub on for Dolah (4).
Watchara (66), definitely great at not being Weera as our back up keeper.
Tana (99), he’s a Thai National team player you know, he once scored for them, a real international goal and everything. Despite his poor form Tana will at least be on the bench because of previous halcyon days. We’ve definitely got (99) problems.
Wuttichai (14) Clinging on to the bench with all the tenacity of an Issan man holding on to bowl full of his favourite som tam.
Tatchanon (39) Itching for a game and likely to get one, on Wednesday in the FA Cup.
Pinyo (21) Likely to get injured doing up his laces a little too tightly.
Marahao (92) Deep in prayer wondering if Lazarus was sent to him as a sign.
If Suphanburi are Superburi on Saturday let’s hope they are super in the style of Super Power Samut Prakarn.
The match will be shown live on True Sport 6 at 18:00 on Saturday 17 June, 2017. For those who can’t make it out to Suphanburi, feel free to pop over to The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13, where the match will be shown on a big screen with full sound.