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WC Qualification Asia

  • November 15, 2011
  • • 11:00
  • • Suphachalasai Stadium, Bangkok
  • Referee: S. Mozaffarizadeh
  • • Attendance: 19400
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AFC 2014 World Cup Qualifying Preview: Thailand v Australia

AFC 2014 World Cup Qualifying Preview: Thailand v Australia

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The Socceroos simply need a result to confirm their passage into the fourth round, while the War Elephants will be looking for a home win to keep their hopes alive


PROBABLE LINEUPS
THAILAND


Hathairattanakool
Suree Sukgha, Jantakam, Siriwong, Phanrit
Surat Sukha, Lahso,
Nutnum, Thonglao, Kaewprom
Keawsombut

AUSTRALIA

Portugal
Schwarzer
Wilkshire, Neill, Spiranovic, Zullo
Emerton, Valeri, Jedinak, McKay
Kennedy, Holman

Winfried Schafer's side tested Australia in Brisbane two months ag,o losing 2-1, but the War Elephants are without the impressive goalscorer on that evening, Teerasil Dangda, due to injury, although there is some hope he might make a miracle recovery. Thailand have also lost left-back Theeraton Bunmathan after a red card in the 3-0 loss to Saudi Arabia, meaning Schafer must decide on Nataporn Phanrit or Supachai Komsilp to replace him. There are some question marks about who will start up front, with Surachart Sareepim pushing for a run.

Australia coach Holger Osieck says there's no need to panic after the loss to Oman, with the Socceroos still only needing one point from their final two group games to qualify. Harry Kewell is out of the squad due to a muscle injury, while right-back Rhys Williams injured his leg late on against Oman and is unlikely to start. Osieck has been criticised in some quarters for changing a winning formula against Oman from the side which easily accounted for the west Asians in Sydney last month, so a return to those tactics is on the cards, with Matt McKay likely to move back into midfield, while Brett Holman should partner Joshua Kennedy up front.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • These two nations have met on three occasions, with Australia winning every time, including a 4-0 victory in Thailand at the 2007 Asian Cup.
  • Australia had won five internationals on the bounce before their shock 1-0 loss to Oman.
  • This will be Holger Osieck's first game in charge of Australia in south-east Asia, where the temperature is expected to be in mid-30s.
  • Thailand had this game moved from Rajamangala National Stadium to Supachalasai Stadium due to the former being used as an evacuation centre during the recent floods around Bangkok.
  • The War Elephants last home defeat came all the way back in January 2010, when they lost 3-1 to Poland in Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand's north-east.
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
Players to Watch
Surat Sukha
Surat Sukha
Position:
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The former Melbourne Victory man will know more about his opponents than most of his team-mates given his experiences in Australia. Sukha may have been a full-back for Victory, but plays in central midfield for his country and will be eager to impress.
Matt McKay
Matt McKay
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 17
Games Goals YC RC
13 0 3 0
The left-sided midfielder has been a revelation for the Socceroos in 2011 and he'll have a role to play in Bangkok. McKay was deployed at left-back against Oman, where he appeared out of position and he'll be much more effective back in midfield, which should open up for him after Harry Kewell's withdrawal.
Prediction
Thailand tested Australia in Brisbane a few months ago, when the Socceroos appeared complacent and needed a late winner to claim a 2-1 victory. However, Australia will be stung by their shock loss in Oman and there's no doubt there will be no sense of complacency in their camp for this match with any result good enough to seal their progress.
Editor's Prediction

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