Thailand will play China today (March 15, 2008)


Thailand will play China in a friendly in Kunming today as part of both sides' preparations for World Cup qualifiers. The match kicks off at 1pm (Thai time) and will be televised live on Channel 11.

The Thais, who left for the Chinese city yesterday, welcome back captain Tawan Sripan who was sidelined for months due to injury.

However, Thailand will be without several stars including foreign-based Suree Sukha, Teerasil Dangda, Datsakorn Thonglao, Nirut Surasiang and Sutee Suksomkit.

Kiatprawut Saiwaew has to play in the Military Games, while striker Sarayuth Chaikumdee is suffering a slight injury and will start on the bench.

Thailand coach Chanvit Phalajivin saw the absence of the key players a good opportunity for him to test young or new players.

Teerathep Winothai will lead the attack along with Pipat Tonkanya or Tana Chanaboot, he said.

Thailand will host Oman on March 26 in their second game of the first group stage of Asia's qualifying round for the 2010 World Cup.

They need a win to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the next round after losing 4-1 in Japan in their opener.

The other team in the group are Bahrain with two teams from each of the five groups advancing to the final qualifying stage.