V.League Champions Hanoi FC hope to embark on an AFC Champions League adventure, but Thai League runners-up Bangkok United stand in their way in their first round of qualification.
After storming to the league title in 2018, many of Hanoi FC’s stars have gained international renown for their exploits with the Vietnamese National Team at the AFF Cup and AFC Asian Cup in recent months. Players like Nguyen Quang Hai and Tran Dinh Trong have established themselves as the brightest talents in South-East Asia in an incredibly short time.
However, Bangkok United are also on the up after an incredible transfer window, and are aiming for the top on the domestic front this season. Full-backs Tristan Do and Peerapat Notechaiya are the most prominent local signings, while Dutch/Japanese target man Mike Havenaar and Salvadorian striker Nelson Bonilla add plenty of firepower up front.
The Angels will also have to deal with a fatigued squad ahead of this match, with Mika Chunounsee, Pokklaw Anan, Sanrawat Dechmitr, and the aforementioned Tristan all starring for the War Elephants during the recent regional and continental tournaments. Additionally, goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard took up the mantle as the Philippines’ goalkeeper during the AFC Cup.
Elsewhere, Thai FA Cup winners Chiangrai United host Myanmar National League champions Yangon United, while Malaysian side Perak face Kitchee SC of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Indonesia Liga 1 champions Persija Jakarta face a lenghty and daunting trip to face Newcastle Jets of Australia.