As we passed the half way point in the Thai Premier League, few would have expected Muang Thong United and Bangkok United to be so far ahead. Even fewer would have expected the mighty Buriram United to be stuck down in 4th place, a whopping 15 points off the pace!
One or two things stand out here. Firstly, is the form of the defending champions, Buriram who have endured a tough few months, losing their unbeaten home record on a wretched night to their fiercest rivals, Muang Thong. It was a total thrashing and at 0-3 it sent a few shockwaves through the league. Since then, the team from south Isaan have lost a further two homes games and drawn against some of the Thai Premier League’s weaker teams.
On the flip side, some credit must go to the team from Muang Thong who have managed to win 15 out of their 17 games which is a fabulous run of form for any team. Chasing MT all the way are Bangkok United who have added to their squad this year and look good to push on for a title challenge. In between the leaders and Buriram we find Bangkok Glass, making a trio of teams from north Bangkok at the head of the table.
As the season continues, we expect Buriram United to close the gap as MT’s players will undoubtedly suffer when we come to the international break as most of their team will be travelling around Asia with the Thai National Team in the World Cup Qualifiers. Buriram have invested in a host of new faces and welcome back Diogo Luis Santos, last season’s top scorer, for the 2nd half of the season.
Also pushing for top half finishes are Ratchaburi, Chiang Rai and Sukhothai. (Maybe it’s just an orange thing and so can we ask Nakhon Ratchasima to start performing again please!) Sukhothai, newly promoted to the TPL have been a surprise to many people. They have a star player in Jon Baggio and some of the best and loudest fans in the country, bringing a raucous atmosphere with them to every game.
At the other end of the table, BBCU appear to be doomed to return the Division 1 after just one year, Osotspa are struggling despite some great home support and Chainat maybe also go but have invested during the transfer window and my yet escape, with a few teams lying within reach.
The biggest disappointment this year is possibly Suphanburi who flew high last year but have not been able to repeat that form, and are now on their 3rd coach of the season.
If a couple of results at the top go against the top 2 and the chasing pack stay in touch, we could be in for an exciting climax to the 2016 season.