Thais ready to take on Nepal team
Southeast Asian champions Thailand are ready to play against Nepal in a warm-up game in Chon Buri on Thursday.
The match at Chonburi Stadium kicks off at 7pm. The War Elephants next meet Suriname at BG Stadium in Pathum Thani on Sunday.
Thailand coach Mano Polking said yesterday it should be an exciting match as the War Elephants had not played on home soil for a long time.
The two warm-up games are part of Thailand's preparations for the 2023 Asian Cup qualifying tournament in June when they will meet hosts Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Polking said he chose Nepal because they had recently defeated Sri Lanka and the Maldives as the trio are from the same region and have similar playing style.
"It is important for us to beat Sri Lanka and the Maldives and qualify for the Asian Cup finals," said the German-Brazilian coach. "Playing against Nepal, we will know more about teams from that region."
In the absence of playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin, defender Theerathon Bunmathan will captain the team in the two warm-up matches.
"I am very happy to be selected as captain. I hope I can help the team get good results," the Buriram United left back said.
Apart from Chanathip, of Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale, Polking also did not call up midfielders Sarach Yooyen and Phitiwat Sukjitthammakul.
Forward Supachai Chaided, meanwhile, is nursing an injury and has been replaced by Pathompol Charoenrattanapirom.
However, Polking still have a number of players available for selection including Kritsada Kaman, Thitiphan Puangchan and Worachit Kanitsribumphen.