Monday, 25 October 2010

Muangthong United Vs Rajpracha Nonthaburi - key players

This week's Nonthaburi/Thunderdome derby promises to be a very interesting affair, and one which is bound to be ambivalent for me, regardless of the outcome.

A fan interview will appear here in due course, but for those who prefer to focus on the technical side of things, I thought I'd take advantage of my familiarity with both sets of players and take a look at some of the possible tactical battles that will take place and discuss how they could affect the game.

Dawudah Walumpah (CB) Vs Kone Muhammed (AM/FW)

Forward Kone Muhammad often enjoys an advantage over opposing defenders because of his imposing height, pace and muscle. However, Raj's Dawudah will match him in almost all of those departments. Though he is slightly shorter, the centre back will certainly not be intimidated by Kone's power and pace. Naturally, Kone is a more technical all round player but if Dawudah sticks to what he does best which is using his own pace and strength to get to the ball first and clear it anywhere, he could make Kone and his teammates work hard for the victory.

Awakajit Sulaiman (AM/FW) Vs Piyachart Thamaphan (pictured) (LB) or Weerawut Kavem (LB)

The young right-winger Sulaiman has played a large part in Rajpracha's recent rich run of form. His neat first touch combined with his pace, good crossing and willingness to run at defenders has created a whole lot of openings for his side. Take a look at his part (he's number seventeen) in this goal for example. However, it's likely he'll get far less space than he's used to against the TPL champions and if he's up against Piyachart, he'll also have to do some tracking back to stop Muangthong's number eleven from getting in some crosses of his own. Will this encounter make or break Raj's talented winger?
Note: Sulaiman's recent injury may rule him out of this clash.

Teerasil Dangda (ST) Vs Yen Emile (GK)

You don't need an introduction for Teerasil. You don't even need me to talk about him. The lean striker does his talking on the pitch with quality finishing from either foot, heading from set pieces, build up play with his back to goal and quality team work with his intelligent reading of the game.

You might not be so familiar with Yen Emile, but he is equally deserving of praise. Raj's keeper - signed from Saraburi M150 or whatever they are called - has been worth at least ten points to his team this season in my opinion, pulling off some saves that are as astonishing as his Thunderdome counterpart Kawin. If Raj are to give Muangthong any kind of contest in their encounter, it's likely that Yen will need to pull off a few more point-blank stops against, arguably, Thailand's best out-and-out striker.

Noppadon Ponudom (ST) or Tameezee Hayeeyusoh (ST) Vs Kawin Thamsatchanan (GK)

When Raj were going through their mid-season slump, they looked to their highly rated striker Tamasee (pictured) for goals. The player had allegedly attracted TPL interest in the close season and fans were delighted to keep him, but as the goals dried up and rumours of missed training sessions spread (his looks may have created distractions off the pitch?) management called in Noppadom from Bangkok United as a mid-season purchase. The goals followed, not just from the new boy but from a re-energised Tamasee, too. What is sure is that whichever of the strikers plays in this one, they'll not get many openings and when they do, they'll have to do what very few players have done before them and score past Kawin on his own turf.

Photo credits: (all Raj players) (Kawin) (Kone) (Piyachart) (Teerasil)

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