Chanathip, Teerasil and Kawin return for Thailand at AFC Asian Cup 2019

A host of key players are set to return for Thailand at AFC Asian Cup 2019 after coach Milovan Rajevac’s preliminary 27-man squad was announced on Thursday.

Having been absent from the ongoing AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, which the Thais were eliminated from at the semi-final stage last Wednesday, goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan, playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin, striker Teerasil Dangda and left-back Theerathon Bunmathan have all been recalled.

In particular, the return of Belgium-based Kawin will be a huge boost to the War Elephants considering neither Siwarak Tedsungnoen nor Chatchai Budprom impressed at the Suzuki Cup.

Oft-ignored right-back Tristan Do has been given a chance to prove his worth, while a handful of young guns in Supachai Jaided, Supachok Sarachat and Shinniphat Leeaoh are also in contention to make the final cut of 23.

There are, however, several notable absentees including one-time golden boy Charyl Chappuis, established midfielders Sarach Yooyen and Jakkaphan Kaewprom, as well as the injured duo of Manuel Bihr and Narubadin Weerawatnodom.

Thailand have been drawn in Group A of AFC Asian Cup 2019 and kick off their campaign against India on January 6, before matches against Bahrain and hosts United Arab Emirates on January 10 and 14 respectively.

Thailand preliminary 27-man squad for AFC Asian Cup 2019

Goalkeepers: Kawin Thamsatchanan (OH Leuven), Siwarak Tedsungnoen (Buriram United), Chatchai Budprom (BG Pathum United), Saranon Anuin (Chiangrai United)

Defenders: Theerathon Bunmathan (Vissel Kobe), Peerapat Notchaiya, Tristan Do, Mika Chunuonsee (all Bangkok United), Adisorn Promrak (Muangthong United), Chalermpong Kerdkaew (Nakhon Ratchasima), Pansa Hemviboon, Korrakod Wiriyaudomsiri (both Buriram United), Suphan Thongsong (Suphanburi), Shinniphat Leeaoh (Chiangrai United)

Midfielders: Chanathip Songkrasin (Consadole Sapporo), Pokklaw Anan, Sanrawat Dechmitr, Sumanya Purisay (all Bangkok United), Tanaboon Kesarat, Thitipan Puangchan (both BG Pathum United), Sasalak Haiprakhon, Supachok Sarachat (both Buriram United)

Forwards: Teerasil Dangda (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Adisak Kraisorn (Muangthong United), Siroch Chatthong (PT Prachuap), Supachai Jaided (Buriram United), Chananan Pombuppha (Suphanburi)

Photo credit: Football Association of Thailand