By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The only surprise is a recall for PT Prachuab striker Siroch Chatthong, who was not even recruited for the recently concluded AFF Suzuki Cup after a poor return of three goals in 24 national appearances stretching back to 2016.
The three musketeers – Teerasil, Theerathon Bunmathan and 2018 Thai FA Player of the Year winner Chanathip Songkrasin – have all been selected for the tournament which takes place in the United Arab Emirates from January 5 to February 1.
The Thai challenge will be spearheaded by 30-year-old Teerasil, who has scored an impressive 42 goals in 95 Thailand games.
Supachai, 20, who has three goals from just eight caps, will vie for a start with his idol Teerasil plus three other strikers –Adisak Kraisorn, Chananan Pombuppha and Siroch.
Among those to miss out are Peerapat Notchaiya, Shinnaphat Leeaoh and Supachok Sarachat, while O-Leuven goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan withdrew on Wednesday with a foot injury.
It’ll be Thailand’s first appearance in the Asian Cup finals in 12 years; the War Elephants will have their last warm-up game against Oman on January 5 before launching their Cup campaign against India on January 6 at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi (8.30pm Thailand time).
Their second game follows four days later against Bahrain at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai (6pm) and the final group game with the UAE on January 14 (11pm).
The 23-man Thailand squad is:
Goalkeepers: Siwarak Tedsungnoen, Chatchai Budprom, Saranon Anuin
Defenders: Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri, Pansa Hemviboon, Chalermpong Kerdkaew, Tristan Do, Mika Chunuonsee, Adisorn Promrak, Theerathon Bunmathan and Suphan Thongsong
Midfielders: Sasalak Haiprakhon, Pokklaw Anan, Sumanya Purisai, Sanrawat Dechmitr, Tanaboon Kesarat, Thitipan Puangchan, Chanathip Songkrasin
Forwards: Supachai Jaided, Teerasil Dangda, Adisak Kraisorn, Chananan Pombuppha and Siroch Chatthong