THAILAND and Singapore, the past two champions of the AFF Suzuki Cup, could land in the Philippines’ group when the draw of the prestigious regional event is held today in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar).
The Azkals, who have reached the semifinals in the past three tournaments but will be hosting the group stage for the first time, are in Pot 1 along with co-host Burma.
The Thais, who beat the Azkals in the semifinals on their way to the title in 2014, are in Pot 2 together with 2014 losing finalist Malaysia.
Teams in the same pot will be drawn into separate groups, which means that Singapore and Vietnam, which are both in Pot 3, could also play the group stage at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Pot 4 is composed of Indonesia and the top team of the qualifying event in October in Cambodia.
Azkals defender Amani Aguinaldo will join coach Thomas Dooley in Yangon to attend Tuesday’s draw.
“There are no easy matches in the Suzuki Cup,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami. “We can’t afford to rely on the draw. Whatever happens, we need to have the best preparation if we want to make the finals for the first time.”