Teerasil Dangda
In-form Teerasil key to hosts' chances on Thursday Reuters

Thailand host Saudi Arabia in the third-round, Group B clash of 2018 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers Asian leg at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok on 23 March.

Bert van Marawijk's men are heading into the game on the back of 2-1 defeat to second-placed Japan in their last World Cup qualifynig match in November 2016 but the Asian giants have bounced back with a 7-2 crushing of Southeast Asian minnows Cambodia.

On the other hand, group wooden spooners Thailand are a rejuvenated unit as they claimed their first point of the third round when they held Asian champions Australia to a 2-2 draw last year after four consecutive loses.

The War Elephants lost their first leg against the group leaders 1-0 after a spot kick from Nawaf Al Abid in the dying moments of the game but they will be motivated to avenge their defeat after the recent AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 success. Following their inspirational 2-2 draw against the Socceroos last year, Kiatisuk Senanmuang's side looked an unstoppable force on their way to a fifth title at the biennial tournament.

A lot this time will depend on in-form strikers Teerasil Dangda and Siroch Chatthong to give the hosts the much-needed goals on Thursday. On the other hand, custodian Kawin Thamsatchanan, who came up with an array of brilliant saves in their 2-0 defeat to Japan, has to be at his best to prevent the in-form Saudi strikers from running riot.

With a sea of Thai supporters expected to fill the stands on Thursday, the home team will be motivated to produce the right result and give themselves a chance of dreaming about Russia but Van Marawijk's team is experienced enough to handle away situations.

TV Schedule

Thailand: Fox Sports, BBTV Channel 7

Saudi Arabia: beIN Sports Arabia

Cambodia: Fox Sports

Indonesia: Fox Sports

Iraq: beIN Sports Arabia

Malaysia: Fox Sports

Bahrain: beIN Sports Arabia

UAE: beIN Sports Arabia

Vietnam: Fox Sports

Team News


Possible XI: Thamsatchanan; Promrak, Kesarat, Chutong; Bunmathan, Yooyen, Chappuis, Do, Songkrasin; Chatthong, Dangda

Saudi Arabia

Possible XI: Al Owais; Hassan, Osama, Omar, Yasir; Salman, Abdulmalek, Yehya, Taisir, Nawaf; Mohammad