Thailand today announced their squad of 27 players for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup tournament that starts next month and none of their J-League based players are included in the list, which could make this year's edition a more closely fought affair than in the past.
Chanatip Songkrasin (Consadole Sapporo), Teerasil Dangda (Sanfrecces Hiroshima), Theerathon Bunmathan (Vissel Kobe) and Kawin Thamsatchanan (OH Leuven), Sarach Yooyen (Muangthong United) and Charyl Chappuis (Muangthong United) are some of the big names left out by Milovan Rajevac for the upcoming tournament.
The players based in Japan are not called up because of their club commitments that will still run during the AFF Championship while Sarach and Charyl are still unable to recapture their best forms having recovered from their respective injuries.
The War Elephants have won the last two editions in 2016 and 2014, and were touted as favourites going into this year's competition. However, the revelation of the squad details may yet open the door for the likes of Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia to challenge for the region's top prize.
For this year's edition, Thailand are placed in Group B together with Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Timor Leste. Rajevac kicks off his bid to win Thailand their sixth AFF Championship with a away tie against Timor Leste that will be played in Bangkok.
Thailand squad in full
Goalkeeper: Chatchai Budprom (Chiangrai United), Siwarak Tedsungnoen (Buriram United), Kwanchai Suklom (Buriram United), Saranon Anuin (Chiangrai United)
Defender: Korrakot Wiriyaudommsiri (Buriram United), Pansa Hemviboon (Buriram United), Manuel Tom Bihr (Bangkok United), Mika Chunuonsee (Bangkok United), Kevin Deeromram (Port FC), Suphan Thongsong (Suphanburi FC), Chalermpong Kerdkaew (Nakhon Ratchasima FC), Marco Ballini (Chainat Hornbill), Philip Roller (Ratchaburi)
Midfield: Mongkol Tossakrai (Police TERO FC), Thitipan Puangchan (Bangkok Glass FC), Tanaboon Kesarat (Bangkok Glass FC), Sasalak Haiprakhin (Buriram United), Rattanakorn Maikami (Buriram United), Anon Amornlerdsak (Buriram United), Poklaw Anan (Bangkok United), Sumanya Purisai (Bangkok United), Sanrawat Dechmitr (Bangkok United), Pakorn Prempak (Port FC), Nurul Sriyankem (Port FC)
Forward: Supachai Jaided (Buriram United), Adisak Kraison (Muangthong United), Chananan Pombuppha (Suphanburi FC)
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