Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang has admitted that the searing heat his side will have to contend with during their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia is a concern.
The War Elephants will face off against Saudi Arabia on September 1 in Riyadh, but arrived in gulf nation of Qatar this week in order to acclimatize ahead of the key fixture.
Temperatures in the region currently hit the mid-40°C mark and Kiatisuk knows that this alone could be a decisive factor in the contest.
“The players sweat easily. I hope they are able adapt to the weather as soon as possible,” he told the Bangkok Post.
Thailand are going to have to pull out all the stops if they are to progress from a final qualifying group that includes Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iraq. While the odds are against them, Kiatisuk believes that his side has what it takes to cause an upset.
“Every player is looking forward to the match. Saudi Arabia are a strong team but we are not afraid of anyone. We believe we can surprise many in the World Cup qualifying campaign,” he asserted.
Thailand play Qatar on Thursday in a warm-up match before heading to Saudi Arabia on August 29.