Thailand's plan to send U23 team to AFF Cup offers opportunity to Vietnam
Thailand’s plan to send their U23 side to compete in the competition provide Vietnam a greater chance of winning the tournament due to one of their main rivals sending a weakened side, according to Sports442.
The Thai national team have won a record five AFF Suzuki Cup titles.
According to the article, “The Thai Football Federation (FAT) has decided to postpone Thai League 2020 to September. This greatly affects the national team, especially the AFF Cup campaign at the end of the year. Because this tournament is not part of the FIFA Day, the clubs have the right to not release its players.”
Sports442 note that Thailand plans to send their U23 team to compete in the event, adding that this will ultimately serve to boost Vietnam’s chances of emerging victory in the regional competition.
“Unlike Thailand, the Vietnam team considers the conquest of the AFF Cup 2020 goal as one of the important tasks. Certainly Park Hang-seo and Vietnamese national team will attend the tournament with the strongest team and the highest determination.
Under Park’s reign, Vietnamese football has improved incessantly and is considered better than Thailand. They possess an unbeaten record when facing rivals in Southeast Asia,” Sports442 stated.
Nick Cassidy, the article’s author, believes that taking on Vietnam poses a tough challenge, even for Thailand’s strongest squad. This can be seen in previous results such as Vietnam beating Thailand 4-0 in recent U23 Asian qualifiers.
The Vietnamese national team were crowned champions at the AFF Cup 2018.
“The squad of Thailand U23 team includes many players in the national team shirt, such as Supachai, Suphanat, Supachok, Jaroensak, etc. These names may also not attend the AFF Cup 2020 and the strength of Thailand U23 will be significantly weakened. It can be said that the gap between the young Thai players and the Vietnamese seniors are huge. Maybe the reason they send U23 team to attend the AFF Cup is to keep the procedure,” the article stressed.
Adding, “The withdrawal makes the road to conquer the championship of Vietnam become wider. Their only major rival is the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. However, all 3 teams are underestimated compared to Vietnam.”
“The AFF Cup 2020 will lose much value if Thailand does not attend the tournament with the strongest squad. This is the largest tournament for national teams in Southeast Asia, has a long history and is the pride of the teams,” the article confirmed.
“The appearance of U23 team will create a bad precedent when the teams no longer focus on the achievements in the AFF Cup,” it concluded. VOV