Thailand - Singapore Preview: Both teams gunning for record fourth triumph
Following Singapore's 3-1 win in the first leg, the Thais have it all to do at home if they are to beat their opponents to a historic fourth Southeast Asian football crown.
By Teng Kiat
Piyaphon - Chonlatit - Panupong - Theerathon
Sompong - Adul - Phichitpong- Jakkapan
Bennett - Safuwan - Baihakki - Shaiful
Mustafic - Isa
Shahdan - Shahril - Duric
Thailand will entertain Singapore in the Supachalasai Stadium on Saturday evening in Bangkok knowing they have to overturn a two-goal deficit if they are to seal a fourth AFF Cup triumph.
A 3-1 win at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night has put Singapore in a commanding position, although Thailand coach Winfried Schafer has insisted his side can turn things around at home.
To that end, the German will hope that the duo of Datsakorn Thonglao and Teerasil Dangda can put in better performances. Both were distinctly off-color in the first leg as they were superbly shut down, with winger Jakkapan Pornsai and goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan the only players to emerge with any credit.
Schafer has not changed his tactics throughout the whole tournament but has revealed that he could alter his plans now, and Singapore could expect some surprises in the midfield area.
Meanwhile, his counterpart Radojko Avramovic has refuted any notion that the Lions will sit back and let the Thais come at them, although they will do well to not be caught on the break as they were for Adul Lahsoh's equaliser.
The defensive midfield duo of Isa Halim and Mustafic Fahrudin, who rendered Datsakorn so ineffective that the playmaker was substituted in the second half, have to replicate their excellent showing to close down the Thais again. Veteran striker Aleksandar Duric will relish doing battle with right-back Piyaphon Bantao, whom he repeatedly got the better of in the first leg.
Upfront, Khairul Amri will be on the alert to pounce on any chances, while left-back Shaiful Esah can wreak havoc at set-pieces with his excellent delivery. The defender has the tendency to get caught out while joining the attack though, and it is down the flanks where the Thais might look to cause problems for Singapore.
On the injury front, Anucha Kitpongsri should not recover in time for Thailand, while Panupong Wongsa is rated at 50-50. For Singapore, vice-captain Hariss Harun and midfielder Shi Jiayi continue to miss out with a broken shin and personal matters respectively.
A 2-0 win will be enough for Thailand but with both sides promising to go on the offensive, it looks like there will be goals at either end in what should be a superb conclusion to the tournament.
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|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Defender Daniel Bennett will become Singapore's most-capped
player with 122 caps if he starts in this match, eclipsing former
Lions skipper Aide Iskandar's record of 121
- Striker Khairul Amri, who scored in the first-leg win, also scored
in the 2004 and 2007 finals, both of which Singapore won. That
has made him the first man to score in three AFF finals
- This will be Aleksandar Duric's last game for Singapore, as he is set to retire after the tournament
- It has been 10 years since Thailand has won this competition; their 2002 triumph was their last time they have won any major
title on the international football stage
- Prior to the 3-1 first-leg defeat, Thailand had only conceded three goals throughout the entire torunament
- Thailand have scored in every game so far, and boast a 100% home record
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Top 3 Predictions
Thailand 2-0 Singapore
- 12.46 %
Thailand 3-0 Singapore
- 12.46 %
Thailand 2-1 Singapore
- 7.74 %
|Asia - Asean Football Championship (AFF) (AFFC)||Dec 22, 2012||Thailand 1 - Singapore 0|
|Asia - Asean Football Championship (AFF) (AFFC)||Dec 19, 2012||Singapore 3 - Thailand 1|
|Mar 5, 2014||Thailand 2 - Lebanon 5||ACQ|
|Nov 19, 2013||Kuwait 3 - Thailand 1||ACQ|
|Nov 15, 2013||Thailand 0 - Iran 3||ACQ|
|Oct 15, 2013||Iran 2 - Thailand 1||ACQ|
|Oct 10, 2013||Thailand 1 - Bahrain 0||FR|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed