The Kirin travel to Thailand's northernmost province this Sunday to play one of the leagues up and coming teams, Chiang Rai United (ticket details).
SCG Muangthong have been in flying form in recent weeks, winning five consecutive league games, including an incredibly tough trip to Port. Coach Radovan Curcic has been forced to regularly rotate his squad due to injuries and suspensions, meaning the team has not yet nailed down a consistent starting lineup.
Tristan Do (19) is likely to return to the side and take up his place on the right side of midfield. Adisorn Promrak (25) is also set to return to the squad after a lengthy absence. Heberty Fernandes (7) is in particularly good form, with his two goals in last week’s match against Air Force taking him to the top of the Thai League scoring charts.
Chiang Rai United have undergone major changes in the transfer window, with former Kirin stars Cleiton Silva and Tanaboon Kesarat departing the club in recent weeks. In their place, the Beetles have signed strikers Rosimar ‘Bill’ Amancio from Ratchaburi and William Henrique from Brazilian side Ituano.
The Kirin’s next opponents sit in 6th place this season with 31 points, which is 8 less than the tally they had at this stage last season. However, they are one of the tightest defenses in the league, and have only conceded 21 goals from 19 games this season.
Despite being known for having a stellar home record, coach Curcic is unfazed by the trip to Thailand’s northernmost province. “We played away against a strong team in Port last time and won,” he said, “we will not be intimidated by this match.”
SCG Muangthong United could find the long trip up north tough, especially given their busy schedule that sees them play a midweek FA Cup match against Nongbua Pitchaya FC next Wednesday at the SCG Stadium. The opponent’s aforementioned tight defense could also prove difficult for the Kirin.
Regardless, SCG Muangthong are right to be searching for a sixth consecutive win, given how much they have improved since the reverse fixture, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Their recent run has already managed to restore their season, and a victory in this tough away fixture will give the fans hope of even greater things to come in the future.