Friday On My Mind: Chonburi vs Port FC Match Preview

 

This Friday, yes Friday Port travel to Chonburi. I can’t remember Port having a Friday fixture before, so this is a vaguely historic occasion. Fake an injury, finish work early and get down to Chonburi, history or infamy awaits.

Port’s visits to Chonburi have been marred with losses of many varieties, one fan even lost his phone there after being viciously attacked by a predatory pond. Be careful people it’s dangerous down there. Port have only picked up one away win in the last ten trips to the see the Sharks. Fortunately that win did come last year, Suarez lifting the ball over a defender’s leg past a flapping Chanin(36). Put that together with a pre-season win and as far as form is concerned there has never been a better time to travel to Chonburi.

 

Chonburi: Impressive and Imploding

The fight shown in first match to get a point away to Buriram was massively undermined by last week’s 2-0  home loss to Samut Prakan. Chonburi’s defence have given up two goals in both of their opening games. The most worrying of the four saw Samut Prakan put a simple cross into the box and two Chonburi defenders fall over each other gifting a golden opportunity to the opposition. Defensively Chonburi look disorganised right and left backs have been chopped and changed. The lowlight being the bleach blonde mohican of Sujarit (63) against Buriram. His shocking hairstyle matching some shocking defending. Chonburi also have Chanin (35) in goal a good shot stopper who had a great spell at Port, but he has always been prone to at least one mistake per match.

Chonburi have some quality going forward, pre-season they bought Brazilian striker Lukian (91) from Pattaya. He knows his way around the Thai League netting 19 goals last year. Lukian served up an excellent ball for Chonburi’s second against Buriram, but also spent half his time throwing his hands in the air complaining about the service he was getting. You want your forwards to be selfish, but you also want them to be good. Lukian can look world class, then look like he’s in a kindergarten class.

A more worrying threat comes on the right wing with Patrick Cruz (46). Cruz has been subbed on in the second half of both games. Cruz showed his quality pouncing on a Tunez mistake setting up an easy chance for Worachit (8) to get Chonburi’s first goal at the Thunder Castle. So why is he not starting? He played in Malaysia for Pahang FC getting 6 goals in 7 games so should be used to South East Asian conditions. The coach is either blind or worried he’s not got 90 minutes of football in him, maybe a bit of both. It will interesting to see if he finally gets into the starting 11 on Friday. And of course there’s Kroekrit (10) the current Chonburi captain an excellent left winger who will be looking to set Cruz and Lukian free. For me Kroekrit will always be the one of the vital players in Port’s 2013 promotion season, who we rewarded with a massive banner at PAT for one of the final home games, on which the club misspelt his name.

 

The Doctor’s Re-Port

In my season preview I did say barring injuries Port have a great team. Well the injuries have come thick and fast. As expected Rattanai returned to his regular ward, Rochela (22) is out for 4 weeks, and now Nurul (31) is going to miss the next 4 to 6 weeks. Worawut stepped in well for Rattanai. I was very impressed with Todsapol (6) on Sunday; he looked more solid than previous seasons and he knows he has a regular spot now until Rochela gets back. The Nurul injury is more serious, Bodin (10) can play left wing but he has never really looked up to standard in decent T1 company. We could move Boskovic to the wing, but that means pushing up Suarez and playing with an even more midfield minded striker. I think it will be a straight swap Nurul for Bodin, but it won’t solve the same old problem we had last year. Boskovic is not getting enough service and he keeps drifting back. Sumanya (11) was meant to be the solution to this problem, but even though he’s linking well with Boskovic we are still not finishing our chances. Hopefully the return of Go Seul-Ki (8) to the midfield will give the team more  freedom to create attacking options.

The Matchstick Mauler vs The Ex-Angel

The return of Go will see the return of the  Siwakorn (16) vs Sumanya debate. Jumbo Jadet favoured the matchstick mauler over the ex-angel away to Chiang Rai. Will he choose him again? I don’t think he should. Port have created chances but been unable to finish, we need to be more positive and have more shooting opportunities. Having Sumanya in and around the box that’s a lot more likely to happen. I don’t think Jadet will do it, I think he’ll put Siwakorn on to shore up the defence in search of an away point. Siwakorn had good games vs Chiang Rai, and Ratchaburi, but the one area he really falls down in is the one area we really need to work on, taking our goal scoring opportunities.

 

My Predicted Lineup

Worawut

Nittipong, Dolah, Todssapol, Kevin

Bodin, Siwakorn, Go, Suarez, Pakorn

Boskovic

Jadet would probably be happy walking away with a point from this match but early on in the season with a dodgy defence Port should be looking to exploit this chance for three points.

On the new kit, it is ok but I would say having gold numbers and lettering on your shirts is a bit showy for a team that hasn’t won anything. Of course if we go on to win something this year the gold will become the perfect good luck emblem. With the injuries it hasn’t been that lucky so far.

Still it’s Friday night and the time is right, as Port have a magnificent unbeaten record every single time I’ve seen them play on a Friday.

 

Chonburi FC vs Port FC Friday 8th March 8.00p.m.

Live on True Sports 2 and True 4U

The game will also be shown live at The Sportsman on Sukhumvit soi 13, with drink discounts available for Port fans. 

 

Dominick Cartwright

Dominick Cartwright

Originally from London, Dominick has been teaching English in Bangkok since 2006 and has been following Port FC since 2011.

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