With yet another FIFA-designated international week ahead, some of South-East Asia’s biggest sides are using these friendlies as crucial preparation for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Due to the congestion of domestic fixtures, Vietnam will not be participating in matches against other nations this week. The nation chose to forgo this break in exchange for finishing it’s domestic cup sooner, and allowing the national team more uninterrupted training time ahead of the November competition.
Meanwhile, Indonesia will host international friendlies with Myanmar and Hong Kong despite the fact that the league is still ongoing. It is unclear whether or not coach Luis Milla will have the full complement of his squad due to this slightly unfavourable arrangement.
Malaysia take on Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan in their two friendlies, set to be played on the 12th and 16th of October respectively.
Thailand also have a friendly against Hong Kong, set to be played tomorrow. Coach Milovan Rajevac has excluded stars Kawin Thamsatchanan, Chanathip Songkrasin, Theerathon Bunmathan and Teerasil Dangda for this fixture, as they will be unavailable for the AFF Suzuki Cup. In their place, young players such as Supachai Jaided, Supachok Sarachart, Anon Amornlerdsak, Kwanchai Suklom and Kevin Deeromram have all earned much anticipated call-ups.
However, the War Elephants’ second fixture against Trinidad and Tobago will also serve as a testimonial for legendary goalkeeper Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool. The 36 year old has announced his retirement from international football despite continued excellence at club level, and this game will hopefully give him the sendoff he deserves after a number of years of service for his national team.