Football Tribe Thailand
Strengths – Head coach Alexandre Gama is likely to field a back-3, with Thailand having plenty of depth in defense. Captain Saringkan Promsupa will likely start in the center of the 3, using his physicality to sweep up behind his teammates. Flanking him is Patcharapol Inthanee and Sarayut Sompim, 2 agile defenders who are also comfortable with the ball. This is a great mix of style which can become a solid platform for the War Elephant’s side.
Weaknesses – Due to the date of the tournament, which is extremely close to the opening of the Thai domestic season, many of the first choice U22 players were released by their clubs. This is weakened the whole squad, with the central midfield area, in particular, being hit the hardest. Anon Samakorn, Tanpisit Kukalamo, and ex-futsal wonderkid Jedsadakorn Kowngam are all exciting prospects, but are playing above their age group and their lack of international experience could hurt them in tough situations.
Player to Watch – Thailand is expected to beat Timor-Leste and Korrawit Tasa could be the one to turn that expectation into reality with his electrifying pace and lethal finishing.
Strengths – Many key members in this Timor-Leste squad has played together at the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup. That experience of facing stronger and more experienced opponents has definitely helped them grow. They could be a tough challenge for any side in this tournament, and should not be underestimated.
Weaknesses – Timor-Leste lacks squad depth or a varied style of players which they can call upon to change the game. They are a hardworking side but extremely one-dimensional and could crumble once falling behind.
Player to Watch – 20-year-old striker Rufino Gama burst onto the scene with goals against Indonesia and Singapore at the 2018 AFF Suzuki. Fearless and determined, Thailand must do their best to keep him quiet in counter-attacking situations.