It’s Your Fault We Can’t Drink Beer So We Hope You Go Down: Port FC vs Chainat Hornbill FC Preview

 

It’s normally a tasty one, this. Port vs. Chainat has some history to it, and with both sides locked in tense battles at opposite ends of the table this could well be another feisty encounter. The reverse fixture in the first half of the season was anything but – Port meekly surrendered a 1-2 defeat to their rivals – but at a PAT Stadium which has just had a month off T1 action, expect a boisterous crowd to inspire a much-improved performance than Wednesday’s limp affair, another 1-2 defeat, this time at Prachuap. This allowed Muangthong to restore parity with Port in the table, although Port retain third place due to their superior head-to-head record. Chainat also suffered defeat in midweek, although they did it in rather more spectacular fashion. Chainat scored 4 but conceded 5 against relegation certainties Ubon UMT, dropping them in to the final relegation spot, which they now share with Police Tero, Suphanburi and Bangkok Glass.

 

Chainat Hornbill FC

Players to Watch

 

Chainat are the poster boys of a disastrous approach to foreign player recruitment this season. The balls-out move of recruiting three foreign forwards has been common and successful in the past, with the quota previously allowing an additional player – usually a defender – along with those, but this season the quota shrinking has made this approach redundant. A few teams just didn’t get the memo. Of the current bottom 5, 4 (all except Ubon) have recruited 3 or more foreign forwards, and it hasn’t gone well.

 

Oh no, wait, not them…

 

That’s not to say that Chainat’s attackers aren’t a dangerous bunch. They most certainly are, the problem is that they’re largely a three-man team. Between them they have 30 goals and 15 assists, with the captain, big-name star and top-scorer in 2016 and 2017 – former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama Pongolle (10) – surprisingly the weakest on both counts with just 6 goals and 2 assists. He is 34 now, and has started dropping in to a more withdrawn role, similar to where Suarez plays for Port.

The tip of the Chainat spear is Ivorian striker Bireme Diouf (20), who netted against Port in the first half of the season. He has scored 12 times, and has also provided 6 assists. A very pacy striker who makes runs in behind and tries to stretch defenses, Port would do well to make sure he doesn’t get in to one-on-one situations with Dolah.

And finally, the most impressive of the three-piece jigsaw is Diouf’s compatriot Bernard Henry (11). Henry has spent most of the season playing on the right wing, but has matched Diouf’s 12 goals, as well as providing 7 assists. Port left back Kevin must avoid brain farts around this fella, as any error will be punished by Henry, as Kevin’s horrific back-pass was punished by Jonathan Reis on Wednesday.

 

 

Thai players of any significance are few and far between in Chainat’s squad, but young midfielder Baramee Limwattana (17), who is on loan from Bangkok United, scored last week and should finally have cemented his place in Chainat’s lackluster midfield. 20 year old Thai-Italian professional tall man (198 cm or 6ft 6) and Dolah impressionist Marco Ballini (23) isn’t a nailed on starter, but the youngster who recently broke in to the Thai under 23 squad should probably return to the starting XI just by virtue of not being involved in the midweek catastrophe against Ubon.

 

 

On top of getting battered on Wednesday, Chainat also managed to get two players suspended. Goalkeeper Teerath (27) got sent off for a professional foul in injury time, and winger Laksana (14) picked up his fourth yellow card of the season.

 

Form

 

It’s been over 2 months since Chainat’s last win, and that was only against Air Force. Since then, it’s been 3 defeats against Chiang Rai, Korat and Ubon, and 2 draws with Navy and Chonburi. Their next 6 fixtures are then Port, Bangkok Glass, Ratchaburi, Muangthong, Prachuap and Bangkok United. The trapdoor beckons. Now over to Port to give them a downward shove.

 

Port FC

We Are The Lethargy

 

It’s always a possibility at this stage of the season, and on Wednesday’s evidence it looks very much as though Port are going to follow form and endure a late-season slump. It’s not as if there is nothing to play for, either. Assuming that Buriram go on to lift the FA Cup (a likely but by no means certain outcome) Port could sneak in to the Asian Champions League qualifiers if they can hang on to third place. With Muangthong now level on points and Prachuap just one behind, staying third is far from straightforward; winning against Chainat is an absolute must.

There are no suspensions, and as far as I know Rattanai (17) is the only one who is certain to miss out with injury. Nurul (31) looked very lively on his return, and Adisorn (13) was fit enough to be named on the bench.

Worawut (36) made one outstanding save on his return to the side and could do nothing with Reis’ sensational winner, but could have dealt more decisively with Kevin’s horrific back pass for the first goal and fumbled a high ball in the second half to give away a corner. Still, he is assured of a start on Sunday. The most surprising selection on Wednesday (although we should know better by now) was Siwakorn (16) getting the nod ahead of Anon (20) in central midfield. On the evidence of Anon’s performances since his arrival at Port, there’s simply no question that he’s a better fit in Port’s midfield that Siwakorn, who has had his worst season with Port since re-signing in 2015.

Nurul looked lively and dangerous on his return to the team, meaning that Bodin (10), who has had more than enough opportunities to stake a claim to a place on the left wing, will have to get comfortable to the bench. That of course means Pakorn (7) will be starting again on Sunday, despite displaying an almost unfathomable lack of interest on Wednesday. When he wasn’t miscontrolling the ball to give away throw-ins or ballooning free-kicks over the bar he was generally moping around and refusing to put in the requisite work-rate. I’d drop him without a moment’s thought, but Jadet won’t.

The rest of the team really picks itself.

 

Predicted Lineup

 

 


 

The match will be shown live on True Sport 2 at 19:00 on Sunday 9 September, 2018. For those who can’t make it to PAT Stadium, The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 will show the match on a big screen with sound. Don’t forget to wear your Port shirt for a 10% discount on drinks.

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Twitter

0replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *