AFF Cup draw could see hot favourites Thailand, Azkals in same group

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Causeway derby? Chan Vathanaka up against Kawin Thamsatchanan? All will be revealed at the AFF Suzuki Cup draw on May 2 in Jakarta.

The 2018 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup draw will be held on Wednesday, May 2 in Jakarta to determine the two groups that will do battle come November.

Teams will be divided into two groups and will play in a round-robin format consisting of two home and two away matches.

Southeast Asia’s top nine nations automatically go into the draw while the 10th and 11th ranked countries – Brunei and Timor Leste – will slug it out to reach the main event.

This is the first time the AFF have introduced this format which is targeted to increase fans’ participation across the region.

The draw will see one country from Pot 1 to 5 go into Group A and B. Thailand and Vietnam are in Pot 1, Indonesia and Malaysia in Pot 2.

Pot 3 sees Asian Cup-bound Philippines along with Myanmar while Pot 4 comprises Singapore and Cambodia.

The final pot has Laos along with either Brunei or Timor Leste, who will go into a playoff tie on September 3 and 11 to earn the right to the main event.

ASEAN football fans, are you ready? The 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup draw is just TWO days away! 🔥 What is your ideal group for your country?

Posted by FOX SPORTS Asia on Sunday, 29 April 2018

 

Pot 1 – Thailand, Vietnam

Pot 2 – Indonesia, Malaysia

Pot 3 – Philippines, Myanmar

Pot 4 – Singapore, Cambodia

Pot 5 – Laos, Brunei/Timor-Leste

Two-time winner in 2007 and 2012 with Singapore, former Geylang International midfielder Isa Halim reckons this year’s competition will be of utmost importance to Thailand and the Philippines, as they prepare for the 2019 Asian Cup.

“You have to go with the Philippines and defending champions Thailand. This tournament will be a great warm-up for their Asian Cup competition in January. Thailand are the strongest footballing nation in Southeast Asian football at the moment while Philippines are getting closer and closer to the top,” said Isa.

While the Azkals and War Elephants are everyone’s favourites to go all the way to the final, Isa threw caution to the wind and put Indonesia and Vietnam as the countries that have the surprise element to upset the odds.

He added: “You cannot discount Vietnam and Indonesia. Vietnam have shown they can play good football and have a lot of good youngsters as shown in the U-23 side of things. As for Indonesia, they have a lot of wonder kids like Egy [Maulana] and stars like Evan Dimas so don’t be surprised if they go all the way.”

One day away from the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup draw. Who do you want your country to be grouped with?

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