Kiatisuk considering Chappuis for final start

Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang is mulling over the idea of promoting midfielder Charyl Chappuis to the starting line-up against Indonesia for the AFF Suzuki Cup final.

Chappuis impressed in the second leg of the semi-final against co-hosts Myanmar as he came off the bench and set up Sirod Chatthong’s goal with his first touch of the game.

Despite Chappuis having made his presence felt, Kiatisuk reiterated that he is unsure whether the 24-year-old should be in the starting XI.

“I cannot say if Chappuis will be in the starting lineup,” he told the Bangkok Post. “We will have a few training sessions and we will decide later who starts against the Indonesians.”

However, Kiatisuk conceded that he may have to make a few changes to his squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup final as there are concerns about the fitness of a number of players.

Thailand have been extremely busy in the past month as they have played six games, starting with a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Australia on November 15.

“We are now in the final, but I am quite worried about our injured players,” he said. “We had to substitute [striker] Teerasil Dangda in the second half [against Myanmar] because he was fouled many times and was bruised. We didn’t want to risk him.”

The War Elephants defeated Indonesia 4-2 in their group stage match on November 19, but Kiatisuk admitted that his side cannot afford to let their guard down, considering the Merah Putih took down a highly skilled Vietnam side in the semi-finals.

“Indonesia have improved a lot and look like a strong team now,” he admitted. “They were sort of struggling in the first round until their last group match.”

The first leg of the final will be played in Bogor on Wednesday before the action shifts to Bangkok for the second leg on Saturday.

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