Southeast Asia Thailand

2018 AFF Cup – Opponent Views on Thailand

Thailand are widely considered to be the favourites to win this years AFF Cup, after being the only South-East Asian team to reach the last round of World Cup qualifying on the road to Russia in 2018. However, how does that perception hold up? And how do their direct rivals see them going into this tournament?


The View from Malaysia

Thailand is a strong football team in the ASEAN region. They have talented players like Kawin Thamsatchanan, Chanathip Songkrasin, Teerasil Dangda and Theerathon Bunmathan – all of whom play in leagues abroad. Thailand have always been a compulsory force to defeat. Teams will be worried about ability to open up space on the wing and they have midfield players who are good at creating opportunities from behind.

Strengths: The strength of Thailand lies in their defense. With the presence of their captain, Chalermpong Kerdkaew, who is partnered by Pansa Hemviboon, their defense should be good at controlling the opponent’s pressure. Additionally, having Manuel Bihr and Suphan Thongsong as a back-up options make the Thai team even stronger.

Weaknesses: The weakness of Thailand is in their lack of an experienced attacker. 19-year-old breakout star Supachai Jaided is more than an attacking midfielder than a striker, while Chananan Pombuppha tends to prefer playing in the left wing.

Aiman Nazirmuddin, Football Tribe Malaysia 



The View from Vietnam

The Thailand National Team has undergone many changes since the arrival of coach Milovan Rajevac. They changed the squad a lot, which makes it difficult for the other teams in the reigon to accurately judge their strength.

Strengths: The technique of Thai players is the undoubtedly the best in ASEAN Furthermore, this team features some big players that will contribute and help the team be more powerful in this year tournament.

Weaknesses: Teamwork may be one of the problems for Thailand this tournament. A lot of these players are playing together for the first time at a major tournament.

Tran Tien, Football Tribe Vietnam


The View from Indonesia

The side are without several senior players, such as the J-League Trio of Teerasil Dangda (Sanfreece Hiroshima), Chanatip Songkrasin (Consadole Sapporo) and Theerathon Bunmathan (Vissel Kobe), as well as goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan who join Belgian second tier side OH Leuven. As such, Thailand can’t field their strongest squad at the 2018 AFF Cup. However, they still have some senior players who lifted the trophy back in 2016, such as Pokklaw Anan.

Strengths: Today Thailand have four European-born players in their side, and all of them are defenders. From the German-born Philip Roller on the right to the Swedish-born Kevin Deeromram on the left, the Changsuek’s defensive line looks too tough to break.

Weaknesses: Milovan Rajevac chose a very “fresh and green” squad with a lack of experience. Adisak Kraisorn is the only striker in the squad who has international expereince.

Steven Danis, Football Tribe Indonesia