The Islanders are on top form, standing proud at second place on the Yamaha League 1 table with 8 points from four games, their seven league goals so far putting them ahead on goal difference from third place BB-CU FC, who also have 8 points.
Phuket FC will have a home ground advantage when they welcome the Navy team, who are 14th on the league table with 4 points.
Coach Paniphol plans to have his best team ready for the game, and the squad has no serious injuries apart from midfielder Kornprom Jaroonpong, who has had a fever over the past week.
The coach tested his new player combination and rotation at a training session on Thursday, but didn’t reveal his plans for sinking the Navy team this Sunday.
“I will send my best team out for this game and we'll do our best to win at home,” he said.
“The boys are high-spirited and eager to win. Being in the top three feels good and we intend to keep it that way to boost our chances of Thai Premier League promotion.”
“I'm happy with [the team’s] performance, but I want to improve our scoring.
“The Navy have changed over the past season and now have a Brazilian striker and African midfielder. We can't underestimate them. But I'm positive that we will win and stay on top of the table,” Coach Paniphol said.
In the past few years the Navy’s main advantage has been their Royal Thai Navy personnel, whose best features are strength and endurance – two things that Phuket FC are trying to build in their own team.
Coach Paniphol will have to try and get his boys to score as early as possible: there’s a danger that the Navy players will dominate the later stages of the game if it isn’t decided before the last quarter, and a late goal is something Phuket FC can’t afford to let that happen.
Phuket have been playing their defence deep in their own half over the last few games, but if they want to score fast on Sunday they will have to move forward more. Their back four might have to step up, too.
Teen goalkeeper Kampon Phatomakkakul has been called up to the Southeast Asia Games training camp with the Thai national team, and so may not be playing on Sunday.
If that happens, Coach Paniphol could trust goalkeeping duty to Adisak Doungsri, who did an outstanding job in the last home game against Sri Racha Suzuki FC. The kick-off for Sunday's match at Surakul Stadium is at 6.30 pm.
Goalkeeper: Adisak Duangsri
Back four defence (L to R): Sakareya Kolea, Yusuke Sato, Nene Bi Tra Sylvestre, Thongchai Kuenkhuntod
Defensive midfield: Assawin Boonman
Midfield (L to R): Geoffrey Doumeng, Junior, Kritsada Sakaew, Ake-artit Somjit
2-0 win to Phuket FC
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