Formed: 1970 (relocated and renamed Buriram PEA in 2010)
Stadium: i-mobile Stadium, Buriram
Nickname: Thunder Castle
Best player: Suchao Nutnum
Main Sponsor: King Power
Mr Chidchob’s purple machine will almost certainly be Muang Thong’s main title threat in 2011. A strong team with a lot of money and influence at their backs, PEA are favourite’s in many people’s eyes (including this writer’s) to end Muang Thong’s recent dominance. Most of their signings have been pretty low-key, but they’ve retained the services of all their best players including their talismanic striker Suchao Nutnam.
Chiang Rai United
Stadium: Mae Fah Luang University Stadium, Chiang Rai
Nickname: The Fighting Beetles
Best Player: Wasan Natasan
Main Sponsor: Leo
Certainly not a title contender, but this remarkable club has enjoyed back-to-back promotions since joining the fledgling Regional League in 2009. Their debut in the top flight geographically stretches the division as never before. Mid-table would suit them, and the gruelling journey away teams will have to make could be key to putting points on the board. Thirteen close-season signings will certainly aid them in their quest for survival.
Stadium: OBD Stadium, Chonburi
Nickname: The Sharks
Best Player: Ekkaphan Inthasen
Main Sponsor: Chang
The 2007 champions were second in 2008 and 2009, and third last year. The original ‘big club,' the 2010 FA Cup winners are now deeply in the shadow of Muang Thong and PEA. The title looks beyond them but second place and another cup victory are realistic.
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