Thais bank on Teerasil to lead title defence
Thailand on Thursday announced a 24-strong national squad to defend their regional crown at the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022, which is slated to kick off on Dec 20.
With some of the leading names missing, the War Elephants will bank on the experience of veteran striker Teerasil Dangda and left wing back Theerathon Bunmathan to lead their title defence.
Among those missing from the team are prolific Buriram United strike duo of Supachai Chaided and Suphanat Muenta, J-League-based Supachoke Sarachat, Port defender Thanaboon Kesarat and Bangkok United midfielder Thitiphan Puangjan.
The team was announced by Thailand head coach Mano Polking and the selected players have been advised to report for training on Dec 6.
Polking added that the national team will play two warm-up matches against Myanmar on Dec 11 and Taiwan on Dec 14 with both games taking place at Thammasat Stadium.
The Thais will start their Group A campaign against Brunei on Dec 20. The other teams in the pool are Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The top-two teams from the two groups will qualify for the semi-finals, the first legs for which take place on Jan 6 and 7 and the second on Jan 9 and 10. The home-and-away final are scheduled for Jan 13 and 16.
Domestic football leagues in the country are currently taking a break for the World Cup and the Asean championship with Thai League 1 returning on Jan 21.
- Teerasil Dangda