I Want It Trat Away: Trat FC vs. Port FC Preview

 

Trat’s promotion to T1 last year sparked hope of an away day in the eastern province, perhaps most famous for the tourist paradise of its Koh Chang archipelago. That hope started to fade as the schedule was released and showed that the game would be one of the much dreaded midweek fixtures and, considering our lengthy winless run that finally ended on Sunday, it’s hard to see too many of the Port faithful dealing with the logistics of the roughly five hour one-way drive under those circumstances. Oh well, maybe next year…

Ourselves

It may not have been pretty, but Sunday’s win against an unimpressive Sukhothai was just what was needed to start crawling out of the deep depressing hole that we’ve been digging ourselves into since the middle of June. Wednesday now presents the perfect opportunity to build on that against a struggling Trat side. The reverse fixture early in the season, also one of those lovely Wednesday games, signalled the start of that wonderful series of matches that made some of us forget ourselves and dream of glory at the end of the season. You may recall it finished 4-1 and Sérgio Suarez (5) scored with a lob that may well be one of the best goals ever scored at the PAT.

Despite the rather low quality of our performance on Sunday, it’s still possible to take a few positives from the game apart from the three points. A clean sheet, Dolah (4) leading from the back, Josimar (30) putting in a strong performance out of position and much better movement off the ball all around than we’ve seen for some time. However, despite a new manager the team selection looked somewhat familiar with players shoehorned in to justify unwarranted price tags and Choke will not have had much time to work with the squad since, so there’s reason to believe we shouldn’t expect any big changes. Pakorn (7) has served his suspension and, apparently, been forgiven by many of the fans so for better or worse he could well be back in the line-up.

 

The Opposition

After that 4-1 defeat Trat also had a fantastic run of form that started with them picking up points in impressive consecutive 1-1 draws against Buriram and Samut Prakan, followed by five wins and another draw. After that they, much like ourselves, suffered a complete meltdown and lost four on the bounce before beating equally out of form Korat a week and a half ago. On Saturday they travelled to relegation-bound Suphanburi to stay on that winning course but a thoroughly underwhelming performance resulted in a 1-0 loss and continued risk of getting pulled back into the relegation battle they hoped to have escaped. Hopefully, their confidence is even more shattered than ours has been lately and this becomes the second step in another push for the top spots.

Irrespective of form, Trat do have the players with the ability to win them a game. Their triple threat of African attacking players should keep them in the top tier all by themselves. I’ve heard more than a few slurring post-match rants in the sandpit describing the towering presence of Lonsana Doumbouya (10) as everything that´s missing from our own offence (I’m inclined to agree). The Guinean has Ivorian Bireme Diouf (27) playing off his shoulder, forming something that resembles a classic big man/small man partnership. And, by adding Nigerian winger Adefolarin Durosinmi (40) to the equation we can account for over 79% (27) of the 34 league goals that Trat have scored this season. At the other end they´ve been far less efficient and conceded 31 so, by containing that attacking trio, our own firepower should be enough to seal the deal.

 

Predictions

As much as I would like to say I believe we would use at least one of our foreign strikers as an actual striker, play Nurul (31) at right wing and bring Todsapol (6) back in at centre back, the truth is I think the only change from Sunday we’re likely to see is Pakorn replacing Josimar. That would leave us with the following starting XI:

 

 

Let’s hope Choke proves me wrong and pursues the crazy idea of playing the best players in the right positions.

As for the result, neither side is built for defensive football. In fact, we’re the second highest scoring team in the league and Trat is only one behind us so we can expect it to be an entertaining evening for the neutral spectators. Port to win 3-2!

 


 

The match kicks off at 20:00 on Wednesday 31 July, 2019. For those who can’t make it to out to Trat on a Wednesday – we imagine there will be quite a few of you – 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.

 

Peter Sheppard

Peter Sheppard

Born to a Swedish mother and an English father, Peter, like most Scandinavians, follows the English Premier League as closely as the Swedish league and is an avid supporter of Arsenal FC. Having bounced back and forth between his native city of Stockholm, Sweden, and Thailand for years, he moved to Bangkok to study International Relations in late 2016 and the hunt for a local club to fill the Hammarby IF-shaped hole in his heart began with the start of the 2017 T1 season. A couple of visits to sub-par clubs later he stepped in to PAT Stadium and was home.

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