The big one kicks off tonight at 11 local time (Bangkok time is now 45 years behind the rest of the world) as the plucky Land of Smilers take on the fierce Iranians – consternation has broken out in Bryan ‘Robbo’ Robson’s camp as it transpires the Iranians, who have already qualified for the finals of the Asian Championship, will not be sending out their under 11 team supplemented by a few ringers, as had been anticipated. Instead, it looks like the full team will pitch up with a view to getting a good work-out in an international environment in which it can be difficult to bring all the players together at the same time. Besides which, they will want to win.
Apparently, the game will be shown live on Channel 7.
Thailand needs a result of some sort (i.e. not a defeat) and hope that the Singapore-Jordan game works in their favour. We shall see – Iran are quite handy and even though the Thais are, according to Mr Robbo, at full strength with everybody 100% fit, Iran will start clear favourites, so long as they can be bothered with it all. Iranians usually can and their manager can expect severe words if his team lets the fans down.
Still, let’s be positive – it’s still 0-0 now and that might be enough if they can hang on for the next seven hours or so.
Mr Robbo is expected to name a 4-5-1 formation and, if I were him, I would have the driver of the team bus practicing parking it in front of the goal and hoping for the best.