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Chiangrai United's debut at the AFC Champions League: Challenges for the champions

Chiangrai United's debut at the AFC Champions League: Challenges for the champions

Thai League 1 champions is about to have their first match at the AFC Champions League’s group stage in their history.

Chiangrai finished the last Thai League 1 season at the 1st position to directly enter the group stage of the 2020 AFC Champions League. It was a dramatic season for The Beetles as they can only claim their title after the last round and prevailed over giants Buriram United only in H2H statistics.

Throughout the 2019 Thai League 1 season, Chiangrai United have demonstrated a steady form since they ended the league being the second-best both defensively and offensively, scoring 53 goals and only conceding 28.

The Brazillian duo Bill and William Henrique lead the attack with the diverse finishing skill of Bill along with incredible skills and pace of the latter. The strikers were fed by a flexible midfield being orchestrated by reliable captain Phitiwat Sukjitthammakul.

Nevertheless, Chiangrai United’s championship formation has had many changes in the 2020 season with the departures of winger William Henrique and especially head coach Ailton dos Santos Silva – the architecture of the club’s success.

On the other end of the transfer, Thai League 1’s reigning champions have signed some quality talents like striker Mailson, who was known for his outstanding speed and strength.

Chiangrai United have reached as far as the play-offs but never entered AFC Champions League group stage until now. Beforehand, there has been 8 Thai clubs competing in the group stage of the Asian football’s top-flight club level tournament.

The first match of Chiangrai United at the AFC Champions League group E against Australian giants Melbourne Victory will take place at 19:35 HKT at AAMI Park (Melbourne).