SCG Muangthong United's 2017 season is coming to a close and a 2-1 away match loss at Ubon UMT United does not make for a comfortable finish. The final three games are critical.
Buriram United secured the league title with a 4-0 pounding of Bectero Sasana this evening. The real battle will now be to see which teams can hang onto second and third, thus earning a place in the AFC Champions League qualifiers for 2018.
Currently tied for second spot with Bangkok United, but ahead on goal difference, the Kirin are in danger of dropping to third, and if they are not careful, even fourth.
Chiang Rai United are in amazing form, on track to potentially win both the League Cup and the FA Cup. With their 1-0 win over Nakhon Ratchasima tonight, the beetles have 59 points. Yet should they win their three remaining games they could over take SCG Muangthong United.
The Kirin have 66 points and also three matches to play. They must win one to ensure at least a third place finish. The challenge is facing Chiang Rai at their home pitch this Sunday, November 12th.
Then on Wednesday SCG Muangthong United host Thai Honda F.C. at the SCG Stadium (a game postponed from last month). The Kirin lost their first leg match with Thai Honda. Also important is Honda are fighting to avoid relegation and need every win they can get.
The Kirin's season finale will be at home against fifth place Bangkok Glass, Saturday November 18th.
The Kirin are struggling in form, having gone two games without a win. Injuries are an issue, with prolific goal scorer Leandro Assumpcao and national team defender Tristan Do out of action for the time being. As well, Theerathon Bunmathan, considered one of Thailand's best players, took a knock and may not be available.
Plus, SCG Muangthong United coach Totchtawan Sripan has to consider the League Cup final on November 22nd, and making sure his players are rested enough to compete for the one remaining trophy still available.
A potential silver lining is the Kirin's League Cup opponents are Chiang Rai United. Coach Alexandre Gama has to decide if he wants to push his starting XI in all league games and shoot for third place. The risk is fatigue and injuries, jeopardizing the team's chances at the League Cup. Chiang Rai will be wanting to win the FA Cup as well, another path to the AFC Champions League. Their opponents: Bangkok United.
All-in-all there is plenty of drama surrounding the three remaining matches the Kirin will play. For details on these games, and ticket information, see http://www.mtutd.info/fixtures-and-results