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Regional League 2013 on its final stretch

Regional League Sukhothai FC Ultras

Sukhothai FC Ultras
image: thai-fussball.com

Only five rounds to go in Thailand's Regional League until the candidates for the play-offs are certain. Who is hot and who is not? We give you a brief overview on how they could look like and who is in the hunt.

The Regional League 2013, which is split into six divisions for the first time since its introduction in 2008 is just five rounds away of its season end. As well as during the last years, a play-off round is going to decide who is getting promoted to Division One. At that we surely will welcome some new "faces". Despite of one more group, the mode of the Play-offs will stay the same compared to last years.

For the final round a total of 12 teams can qualify, who then will play the play-off round split in two groups. These assemble as follow: In each case the two best ranked sides, except from the south, qualify directly. The second-placed team of the south will have to play a qualifying match against the best third from the north and north-east. This match will be held only one week after the end of the regular season on the 24 September, in Ayutthaya. Logistically a good compromise for both sides.

However anything goes and a preliminary decision is not yet cast in all divisions. In the North - Chiang Mai leading the table and currently is eight points clear off the third. To be on the safe side the team, coached by former Thai U-16 coach Leones, needs to get at least another seven points. On the last day of the season Chiang Mai will face current third ranked Sukhothai which, of course, would like to surpass Phitsanulok. But also Lampang and Phichit still have chances - to at least - finishing third. Which would be enough to make it to reach the qualifying match against the runner-up from the South. Provided one has more points on account than the third placed side from the North-East.

There, Roi Et United is top of the table and will probably won't be miss out this year. For the case of making it to the Champions round, the club has already announced to use the plane this time when traveling away instead of a coach which was used in recent years. Because when all is said and done, promotion should it be in a third attempt finally. However, Roi Et needs another seven points, if they would loose to Ubon with more than four goals in this Saturday's top match. What is hardly to believe. A victory would be enough to secure the Play-offs ahead of all other clubs in the race. Currently on rank two is Udon Thani and beside Ubon Ratchathani, only Nong Kai, at the very most, is having an outsider's chance.

Roi Et United

Sakhon Nakhon vs Roi Et United
image: thai-fussball.com

In the Central-East division Nakhon Nayok FC and Thai airways Look-Esan are up and away. The former is feed with players lent by Muang Thong and coached by former BEC Tero coach Andrew Ord. The latter, Look-Esan is the farm team of Police United. Only Sa Kaeo City seems to be in the running for a play-off spot. However, a seven points deficit is a difficult task. In addition: On the last matchday it comes to the duel with Nakhon Nayok.

The tightest of all division is the Bangkok Division. Paknampho, with Ivan Brosovic in defence - one or two remembering him from his stints with BEC Tero and Bangkok FC - is leading the table with 42 points. Followed by six teams who are separated only by five points of each other. However, Kasetsart University and Bangkok Christian College seem to be the candidates in the most promising position for a berth in the final promotion round.

Nothing new in the west? Quite a lot even. Since with relegated Raj-Pracha, new boys Hua Hin and Futera Seeker plus a few mergers, some new sides can be found here. But the table is lead by Prachuap and Ang Thong FC. At least the latter, reinforced with Gaston Gonzales from Sriracha FC during the mid-season break will have to fight till the very end to secure the runner-up spot. Raj-Pracha sits only one point behind and even Futera Seeker is in with a chance. But has one more game played already.

Finally, we take on the smallest of all groups. The South. After a 4-week break because of Ramadan, the division returns to action this weekend. Everything is too close to make a call here as well with Narathiwat just one thin little point ahead. Chumphon, Phangnga and relegated Phattalung FC may still have some hope to qualify either directly or via deciding match in Ayutthaya.
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