Muangthong face Stern Test against Surprise Packages Prachuap
Four-time Thai League Champions Muangthong United have had a largely underwhelming campaign this season. The nation's second most successful team found themselves in mid-table after their opening games, leading to the resignation of fan favorite Totchtawan Sripan from the head coach position. Under the temporary guidance of assistant coach Santi Chaiyaphuak, the side stabilized, but were unable to make a push up the league standings. Since the appointment of former Serbia national team coach Radovan Curcic, however, Muangthong are once again playing as they should being four-time Thai League Champions.
The Kirin have been revived under Curcic's management, winning their last six consecutive Thai League matches, extending their run to eight wins in all competitions. Despite having a makeshift squad with a number of players regularly featuring in make-shift positions, the side have shown an edge and an ability to win games even when they haven't been at their best, making them one of the most formidable sides in the division.
After rising from the second division at the beginning of the season, Prachuap FC have taken the league by storm. The side currently sits in 5th place after 20 games, with both of their main strikers - Lonsana Doumbouya (21) and Jonatan Reis (10) - registering goal tallies that have reached double figures.
This fixture will be given extra needle since Prachuap handed Muangthong one of the most embarrassing defeats of their history in the reverse fixture earlier this season. The newly-promoted side beat the Kirin 6-1 in a game that led to the aforementioned resignation of coach Totchtawan. This game's revenge plot is one of it's most intriguing aspects, and may add even more edge to this already fiery encounter.
Both Muangthong and Prachuap boast excellent attacking arsenals, and neither truly have a stable defensive setup. As such, this match is more likely to be a frantic goal-rush as opposed to a tactical chess match. Whether Muangthong's forwards Heberty Fernandes (7) and Jaja Coelho (50) can outscore Doumbouya and Reis may come down to the strength of their individual performances.