Bangkok: Thailand goalkeeper Chatchai Budprom insists that Malaysia will suffer a nightmare when they face the War Elephants in the second leg of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

The Thais were fortunate to come away from the first leg in Kuala Lumpur with a 0-0 draw. However, Chatchai believes that home advantage at Rajamangala Stadium should ensure that the defending champions will get the result they need to progress to their fourth consecutive final.

“In the first leg in Malaysia, they played very well,” said Chatchai. “They put us under a lot of pressure and made us feel uncomfortable.

“But tomorrow will be a different story. When the Malaysian team arrives, they will find out that this is Thailand – the land of the War Elephants.

“Today, I hope that the Malaysians have a good night’s sleep because tomorrow will be a nightmare for them.”

Thailand head coach Milovan Rajevac was not quite as bullish as his goalkeeper but he stressed that his team was set for the challenge.

“The team is ready,” said Rajevac. “We had the first half in Malaysia, the second half is in Bangkok. The Malaysian team had great support from their fans in the first match. We will have fantastic support in tomorrow’s match from Thai fans.”

Several of the Thai squad already have winners medals but Rajevac believes that regardless of whether they are going for their first, second or third title, the players' attitude is the same.

“Everybody is aware of the challenge and aware of the task,” he said. “We know how important the AFF Suzuki Cup is for Thailand. Everybody is ready and motivated – those who have played on this stage before and the newer players.”

Malaysia head coach Tan Cheng Hoe is also optimistic and is hoping that his players build on an impressive first-leg performance.

“In Malaysia, the players played one of their best matches and we hope to continue the same momentum, the same intensity and the same desire,” said Tan. “Of course, we missed a few chances but I am confident we can do well in tomorrow’s match and get a positive result.

“We know that Thailand have had very strong offensive play in this tournament and scored 14 goals at Rajamangala. I want the players to be mentally and physically very strong and we need to be really focused for the 90 minutes to stop them scoring.”

Less than a year on from hitting an all-time low in the FIFA rankings, Tan admitted that progress in this tournament had been important for Malaysia but stressed that much still had to be done.

“We have made a big step forward,” he said. “These are young players with some senior players who have shown very good motivation to get to this stage. In the future, we definitely need to improve. I’m sure we can move forward and get better and better.”