After a one-week break, the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup will resume on Saturday, with the first legs of the semi-finals. We will preview these two matches over the weekend and make our selections. Don’t forget that there are prizes to won here – logon to leaguesx.com to make your picks now (but not before reading what we have to say!)
Indonesia vs Vietnam (Saturday 3 DEC)
Indonesia, or the Garudas as they are more affectionately known as, will bank on a ferocious home crowd here as Group A winners Vietnam visits. This tie will be relatively even but Vietnam do have the edge in terms of technical abilities and experience. Indonesia will match them with spirit and home ground advantage.
Defender Fachrudin Aryanto is a threat going forward and can be relied on. Benny Wahyudi is also worth considering. The Indonesians scored 6 times in the Group stages (joint top) so their attacking players of Stefano Lilipaly and Andik Vermansyah should be top of your pecking order. Our 1st captain recommendation is Boaz Solossa, who has already scored twice and assisted once so far.
From Vietnam, goalkeeper Tran Nguyan Manh is solid and a sure starter. The Viets have conceded only twice in the competition – a joint best. In defence, Que Ngoc Hai and Vu Van Thanh are good choices to have. Midfielder Nguyan Trong Hoang has a goal and an assist to his name. Our 2nd Captain pick here is Vietnamese legend Le Cong Vinh. If they were to come away with anything, LCV needs to be on the top of his game and we believe he will be!
Myanmar vs Thailand (Sunday 4 DEC)
Myanmar may have home advantage but the truth is Thailand is by far the better team here. It will not be a surprise if the Thais come off with a resounding victory, hence we are recommending loading the squad with players from Thailand. Thailand rested a lot of players for their final Group match so the players are as fresh as can be.
Captain Teerasil Dangda if you think the Thais will score a couple here. Sarawut Masuk is a free-scoring midfield maestro that should be picked. Chanathip Songkrasin has yet to reach his high standards but he will start here against Myanmar and he has our trust. In the Thai defence, the trio of Koravit Namwiset, Peerapat Notchaiya and Tristan Do are our top picks. Goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan should return to his spot and again, pick him if you fancy a Thai clean sheet.
Myanmar will probably approach this game with caution. They will want to get a goal or two at home but they will not be over adventurous. A draw is a good result for the home team here. Therefore, defender Zaw Min Tun is a good pick. He is a great threat for set-pieces. David Htan is his equal in this aspect. Upfront, Aung Thu will need to perform if Myanmar wants anything from this game.
[picture from goal.com]
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