FIFA Ranking: 114
Nickname: War Elephants (Changsuek)
Last match played: Thailand 0-1 Vietnam (5 June 2019)
Coach: Sirisak Yodyardthai
Thailand find themselves in a bit of a disposition - too good for South-East Asia, as their record five AFF titles suggest and not good enough for the rest of Asia. The War Elephants reached their peak between 1996 and 2002, winning four AFF titles, came fourth in the 1998 Asian Games, reached the World Cup final qualifying round for the first time and reached a record-high of 43 in the FIFA Rankings.
They have featured in seven Asian Cup finals. Their best finish came in 1972, in the first attempt albeit as hosts as they took the third spot. In the 2019 edition in the UAE earlier this year, they reached the Round of 16 only to lose to China.
Most of the seeds of Thailand's current golden generation was sown by former head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang, who still holds the record for the highest number of caps and goal for the national team. He was given the job in 2014 after Peter Reid, Bryan Robson and Winfried Schafer failed and delivered immediately with an AFF title after a gap of 12 years.
Milovan Rajevac, who almost oversaw Ghana reach the semi-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup took the team to the Asian Cup. But, he was sacked midway through the tournament after their 4-1 defeat to India in their very first group stage game. Sirisak Yodyathai, the caretaker manager remains still in-charge of Changsuek.
Thailand after the India defeat managed to beat Bahrain and drew against hosts UAE to progress from Group A of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup into the knockouts. They faced China in the Round-of-16 game where they were handed a 2-1 setback despite Supachai Jaided scoring first in the game.
Their revenge came immediately in the 2019 China Cup in March. Chanathip Songkrasin's goal helped the Thai beat China 1-0 to set up a date with mighty Uruguay in the final. It was a lop-sided encounter with the South American giants romping Thailand 4-0 to win the friendly tournament.
As hosts of the 2019 King's Cup, Thailand were beaten 1-0 by Vietnam in the semi-final. This allowed them to set up a date with India in the 3rd place playoff, a gateway to seek revenge for their defeat earlier this year.
LESSONS FROM THE PAST
This will be the second time India and Thailand meet in a space of six months. India's last two wins against Thailand have come generations apart. Before India's 4-1 win in the group stages of the 2019 Asian Cup, it was a 3-1 result in India's favour in the 1986 Merdeka tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
|H-to-H||GAMES||IND WINS||DRAWS||THA WINS||GOALS (IND)||GOALS (THA)||GD [IND]||WIN % [IND]|
|vs THA||22||5||6||11||25||37||-12||22.72 %|
Sirisak Yodyathai fielded a 3-4-3 lineup in the 1-0 defeat to Vietnam midweek. Both Adisak Kraisorn and Teerasil Dangda remained on the bench. However, the latter is expected to start for his 100th senior cap.
PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Teerasil Dangda: Thailand's number one striker has played in two Asian Cups - 2007 and 2019. The 31-year-old almost became the first ASEAN player to win the J1 League with his club Sanfrecce Hiroshima finishing runners-up last season. He has 99 caps and 43 national team goals to his name.
Theerathon Bunmathan: Thailand's best left back plied his trade at Vissel Kobe for the whole 2018, having an average performance but will surely have gained a lot of experience playing with the likes of Lukas Podolski and Andres Iniesta.
|Thailand squad for King's Cup 2019|
|Goalkeepers||Kawin Thamsatchanan, Chatchai Budprom, Siwarak Tedsungnoen|
|Defenders||Peerapat Notchaiya, Theerathon Bunmathan, Adisorn Promrak, Pansa Hemviboon, Tristan Do, Suphan Thongsong, Pawee Tanthatemee|
|Midfielders||Sarach Yooyen, Sumanya Purisai, Thitiphan Puangchan, Peeradon Chamratsamee, Picha Autra, Siwakorn Jakkuprasat, Tanaboon Kesarat, Supachok Sarachat|
|Forwards||Adisak Kraisorn, Teerasil Dangda, Supachai Jaided, Surachat Sareepim, Suphanat Mueanta|
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