Soccer  

Taiwan Football Premier League Preview: Teams To Look Out For And How to Watch

profile

A new season of the Taiwan Football Premier League kicked off last weekend to join Belarus, Burundi, Nicaragua, and Tajikistan as the only leagues offering soccer to fans around the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

The action began behind closed doors to ensure the safety of players and fans but the good news is that it is being streamed around the world live on YouTube and the best sportsbooks are offering betting odds in the games.

Format of The Taiwan Football Premier League

This season is the fourth with eight teams since the league rebranded from the ashes of the old National First Division Football League.

The offseason had some intriguing developments which should make the new campaign very exciting and being able to watch the games on the Chinese Taipei Football Association’s YouTube channel for free is an added bonus.

Teams To Watch

Last season Tatung, from Taipei, won their third straight title but Taipower, from Kaohsiung, gave them a run for their money like they usually do and finished second in the standings, just three points behind them.

These two teams actually met on Sunday to kick off the season and Taipower surprised Tatung and beat them 3-2 on the road. There were 18 goals between the four games on opening weekend and we are in for a wild ride in the next few months.

Tatung are going into the season with little uncertainty after losing key players like league MVP Marc Fenelus and star defender Chen Wei-chuan, who both signed with Taiwan Steel, the team that many like to stop Tatung’s run at the top.

The Tainan-based team finished fourth last season, 19 points behind the champions but they have a much-improved roster and they started the season strong with a comfortable 4-2 win against Ming Chuan University.

Players To Watch

Keep an eye on last year’s top scorer Benchy Estama, who finished with 25 goals for Hang Yuen and impressed in the AFC Cup. Estama also signed with Taiwan Steel and he scored in his debut against Ming Chuan University.

Pan Wen-Chieh, considered by many the best goalkeeper in Taiwan signed with Taiwan Steel as well, proving how serious this team is in their quest to win the title.

Tatung retained their other strikers but losing Fenelus is a tough blow. He already paid dividends for Taiwan Steel as he also scored in the season opener.

Angel Samuel Kouamé scored 20 goals for Tatung last year and Omar Dogan (14 goals) will be asked to carry the load on offense and fill Fenelus’ void.

As you can see, many strikers were on the move often in the offseason. The other big move was South Korean Joo Ik-Seong, who scored 20 goals last season, going from Hang Yuan to Taichung Futuro. This team also signed former Taiwan national team coach Toshiaki Imai. He signed seven Japanese players to Taichung Futuro.

Teams To Fade

Hang Yuen, the first Taiwanese team to play the AFC Cup, lost their best players Benchy Estama and Joo Ik-Seong. This team was third last season but they didn’t replace Estama and Ik-Seong.

National Taiwan University of Sport FC, sixth in the standings last year, Ming Chuan University (seventh) and Red Lions FC are expected to fight to avoid the eighth place, which would automatically relegate them to the new Challenge League. It is clear that the Taiwan Football Premier League will have intrigue at both ends of the standings.

There are some other sports events still being played so don’t forget to check out the list of More Sports You Can Still Bet On.