Thailand vs India
Competition: AFC Asian Cup
Date: 6 January 2019
Kick-off: 14:30 CET
One of the most common… cliches about Thailand is that they are too good for Southeast Asia, but not good enough for the rest of Asia. As all cliches, this… does come from somewhere, there is a reason why people, media included, tend to repeat this. The Thais may have failed in the last AFF Suzuki Cup edition, losing to Malaysia, but all in all, there is little doubt they are the strongest side in Southeast Asia. Thy haven’t been able to impress – consistently – in the rest of the continent, though, and most of their “golden generation” players may be featuring in their last Asian Cup tournament, so there is a feeling that… they are running out of time. Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac has been in charge since April 2017. Under him, the team have improved – vastly – defensively, but have left a lot to be desired offensively, especially in crucial matches.
Unlike other teams in this tournament that have changed coaches again and again these last years, India’s Stephen Constantine, a 56-year-old Englishman, took over even before the previous Asian Cup edition started, on January 1, 2015(!). He did receive a lot of criticism these past weeks for some of his choices regarding the 23 players who make up the squad in the UAE, but then again, who (among all coaches) didn’t? He had to choose 23 players, and he stack mostly to those whom he trusted in the qualifiers. There are some new faces, but not as many as some fans wanted/hoped to see. Constantine has also received the public backing of prominent football figures in India, who seemed confident that under the Englishman the team can do well, qualify for the last 16, which seems to be the main target. One… curiosity has to do with how few games they played these last months. They drew with China in ONE game in October, lost to Jordan in ONE game in November, and they only played one more friendly match the last seven-eight weeks, a goalless draw with Oman on December 27.
Previous five matches:
Thailand vs Oman 2-0
Thailand vs Malaysia 2-2
Malaysia vs Thailand 0-0
Thailand vs Singapore 3-0
Philippines vs Thailand 1-1
Oman vs India 0-0
Jordan vs India 2-1
China vs India 0-0
Maldives vs India 2-1
India vs Pakistan 3-1
Thailand’s next game is on Thursday, against Bahrain. Same day, India will be facing the UAE.
Thailand vs India: Head to head Stats
Thailand and India have faced each other 20 times in the past. The Thais have won half those matches, six have ended in a draw, and four have gone India’s way. Total goals, 33-20. Only once have they played against each other on neutral ground, and Thailand won 1-0. Keep in mind though that only two of those 20 games have been played the last 20 years.
Thailand vs India: Prediction
I wish I believed in India’s double chance, it pays a very satisfying 2.80, but I don’t.
Thailand vs India: Betting Tips
Thailand’s win is at 1.44. Under Rajevac, they seem… in love with defending, and India are no… goal-machines, so for much more than 1.44, I would risk with “Thailand and under 2.5 goals”, at 2.65.