Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy -Port V Khon Kaen United Preview

 

 

For their second home game of the season, Port are again the early 1730 Saturday kick off, hosting “Hilux Revo Thai League” newcomers Khon Kaen United. Those of you with a season ticket can once more bask in the glory of its value, as the game is a behind closed doors affair.

Port will be looking for a first win of the season against opposition widely expected to be involved in the relegation battle. Building on a respectable draw away to Bangkok United in round two, that showed many signs of improvement. As coach Dusit displayed a willingness to shuffle the squad and tactics, traits rarely seen from a Port manager in recent seasons. Switching from the back 3/5 that served him well last season, to a back 4 to start the game. In midfield Siwakorn (16) returned for the much maligned Tanaboon (17) and his presence, the change of tactics or a combination of the two meant the gaping hole between defence and midfield, Police exploited so successfully in round one, wasn’t on show. Resulting in another intriguing tussle between Bangkok United and Port where both could feel disappointed to not collect all three points. Bangkok United would have felt the win was theirs when awarded a late penalty but Worawut (36) saved Heberty’s poor spot kick and Port headed back to Bangkok with a well earnt point.

 

 

Dusit comes over a bit Phil Brown at Hull

 

Khonkaen United

 

The King Cobras have started the season with two home matches picking up three points. They opened with a defeat to Ratchaburi, there’s no shame in losing to a side who despite falling away from the highs of their first leg performance last season, remains a very solid T1 (its far easier than using “Hilux Revo Thai League”) outfit, especially when Steeven Langil goes on a slalom run and scores a superb goal. Their second match was one that will inspire hope they can stave off relegation as they beat Prachuap. On one of those terrible September in Thailand pitches, they were victorious 2-1, claiming the points from the penalty spot late on. Thanks to a VAR review with the officials seemingly as eager not to award a clear penalty as their colleagues elsewhere were to award one for a clean tackle.  Converted by Ibson Melo, who is becoming very much the gun for hire in Thailand, as Khon Kaen Utd are his third club in as many seasons. Having previously turned out for Samut Prakan Dons and Sukhothai, the striker has managed a double figure haul of goals in each of those campaigns and Khon Kaen season will benefit greatly from a repeat.

They are managed by Carlos Eduardo Parreira, who’s time in Thailand started working with Gama at Buriram. Before striking out on his own, with spells in charge of both Chiangmai clubs, prior to taking up his current role in the closed season. In both matches, they have used a 3-4-1-2 formation and looked to break at pace. Despite his history, Parreira defence has looked vulnerable. Looking at the squad it appears a particularly weak area, even for a squad that is packed with players whose playing careers are very much yoyo T1/T2 journeyman. That they went out and signed Alef and Grommen to strengthen the backline doesn’t bode well. Alef was a great watch last season playing for Suphanburi, for non Suphanburi supporters, as he was liable to throw in a clanger at any moment. Something we may be denied on Saturday night as the Brazilian season ground to a halt at halftime in the Ratchaburi game. When having been booked for clotheslined Sanarawat Dechmitr, he was subbed off and didn’t feature against Prachuap. Trying to protect the backline is skipper Douglas Cobo who has been with the club as they’ve risen from Thai League 4 via successive promotions. He’ll need to be at his best if his team are to get anything from the fixture. I’m expecting them to look to sit deep and frustrate as we’ve seen teams come to the PAT and do many times and attempt to deliver a killer bite on the break.

 

Other Khon Kaen pictures exist but this remains the best.

 

Port

 

The big question is will Dusit stick with the back four or revert to three, Worwut-Baresi (24) was brought on for the last 10 minutes in Rangsit replacing Jaturapat (15) who took his place on the starter roster (gotta appeal to our Yank readers now and then), although the aim there was too sure up, late in the game. At home with Bordin (10) and Roller (33) as attacking wing backs, going with three is a far more aggressive formation. While Go (8) and Siwakorn in midfield offer the defence more protection, closing down space and the whole group getting better drilled at how to play the system, l feel it will be tried again.

 

 

With everyone in the division having dropped points, Ports return of two combined with a victory here and several matchups featuring teams who sit above us in the embryonic table, hopefully, the weekend brings a victory and a move much closer to the top of the table. I’m expecting that to be the case and will go for a 3-0 win.

 

The match will be shown live on AISPLAY (possibly limited to AIS network users) at 17:30 on Saturday 19th September, 2021.Fans are not allowed to attend the game, so the best way to watch with fellow Port fans is to head to The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 who will show the match on a big screen.

 

James Clarke

James Clarke

Originally from England, James first came to Thailand in 2010 to escape big cities and spend time on beaches away from crowds. He now divides his time between living in Bangkok and wishing he was living in Bangkok.

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