Thailand vs China PR Match Analysis & Prediction
16/11/2023 3:30 pm
Thailand will be looking to cause an upset when the play host to China PR at Rajamangala National Stadium in Asia’s opening round of World Cup 2026 qualifying fixtures on Thursday.
These two nationa last went head-to-head at the China Cup in March 2019, with Thailand claiming a 1-0 victory on that occasion.
A repeat of that scoreline would certainly set Thailand up nicely in Group C, as they aim to claim one of the top two spots to progress to the next stage of AFC qualifying.
With the next World Cup set to be expanded to 48 teams, Asia will have eight guaranteed qualification spots up for grabs, opening the door for nations such as Thailand to qualify for their first ever World Cup. South Korea will be expected to dominate Group C, making this tie o Thursday a potentially pivotal one.
Thailand have made decent progression since appointing Alexandre Polking as their manager in September 2021, with the former Bangkok United boss winning 20 of his 35 matches in charge.
However, their form has been a little patchy of late, with the War Elephants beaten 8-0 by Georgia in a friendly last month before claiming a 1-1 draw against Estonia.
In order to earn a positive result against their gigantic neighbours on Thursday, they will need to perform much closer to their levels from the latter result than the former, otherwise they will be up against it from the outset.
Despite boasting the world’s largest population and third-largest land mass, China have only ever qualified for one World Cup in their entire history, which was when they crashed out at the group stage in Japan % South Korea in 2002.
As such, they will be delighted by the additional slots on offer to compete in North America in less than three year’s time, with head coach Aleksandar Jankovic likely to sense an opportunity that his side should not be passing by.
China’s poor record in terms of reaching the World Cup is made all more surprising by the fact that they have reached each of the last 12 Asian Cup’s, although they have failed to lift Asia’s major international tournament. Their best efforts have been finishing as runners-up in 1984 and 2004, so they will be hoping to impress in Qatar in the New Year.
In the meantime, they will be keen to make a strong start on World Cup qualifying by beating Thailand when they travel south of the border on Thursday.
Thailand vs. China PR Head to head
In the seven previous meetings between these two teams, they have each claimed three victories while drawing once, scoring 11 goals apiece.
20/01/2019Thailand1ChinaPR2AFC Asian Cup
21/03/2019China PR0Thailand1China Cup
Thailand Team News
Thailand have called up just one uncapped player in the form of goalkeeper Saranon Anuin, with the most notable absence from the squad being midfielder Thitiphan Puangchan.
The hosts’ goalscoring hopes will largely hinge on Teerasil Danga, who has scored 64 goals in 126 caps, As such, the 35-year-old is closing on Kiatisuk Senamuang’s national record of 134 caps and 71 goals.
Thailand's Last 5 Matches
19/06/2023Hong Kong, China0Thailand1Friendlies
China PR Team News
China defender Zhang Linpeng could join the 100-capped club across the coming week as he is currently on 98 appearances for his country.
All of Jankovic’s squad ply their domestic trade in the Chinese Super League, with Shanghai Shenhua’s Wu Xi generally regarded as one of the nation’s strongest performers.
China PR's Last 5 Matches
Thailand vs. China PR: Odds and Predictions
Double Chance: China PR or X
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