Tuesday, 29 March 2011

MTU Vs Buriam PEA - preview part 1

It's a fixture that most would've have tipped as a potential title decider before the season kicked off, but with the very shaky start to the season made by the Quilins, Saturday's fixture is more a case of a chance to catch up for the home side.

The fixture was originally scheduled to be played in Buriram but the two clubs made a mutually beneficial agreement to switch. MTU feel they have a better chance playing the fixture at home at this stage and PEA want their home game to be played at their new stadium which is not ready yet.

Newin Chidchob has made few changes to the PEA squad for this season. Dudu has departed, Cameroonian Frank Ohandza has joined the ranks and made a good first impression. The only points dropped by PEA so far have been at home to Police United in a one-all draw.

But whenever Buriram PEA or Buriram FC are involved, it seems inevitable that more than just the football will catch the eye. Owner Newin Chidchob is still making political headlines, various concerns have been raised about potential conflicts of interest should Buriram FC reach the TPL and more than once fans have gasped in amazement at some officiating decisions in PEA/FC Games. There was the experience of MTU last season, and a disallowed goal by Khoen Kean against them last week that had the commentators very confused. Chiang Mai FC also had a goal disallowed and a strong penalty claim denied at the iMobile Stadium last weekend. In fairness, the goal may not have been legal. It's a big worry, but it doesn't change the fact that PEA have been the best team so far this season. Jakarta Casual thinks it's all over already.

The PEA fans are a noisy and numerous bunch and while nobody denies that some - though by no means all, maybe not even most - of their fans are paid to attend games, there can be no denying the noise they generate and the happiness they feel in following their team, or the gratitude they feel to Newin for bringing quality football to the masses. They have been perfectly behaved in every game.

Going into a home match not as clear favourites will be a new experience for Quilins fans. The champs are protecting an undefeated home league streak dating back to Division One. (The loss was against Sriracha.)

PEA have no English websites that I know of.

Last season was 0-0. Report here.

I predict MTU will field the same starting team as last week. There is no team news as of Tuesday. I will tweet any updates.

A fan interview and a tactical perspective coming soon.

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