|Back in action: Becamex Binh Duong players celebrate during a recent match. They will play Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the last round match of the V.League 1's first leg this weekend. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Go Dau and Hang Day will be the focus of V.League 1's first leg of the last round this weekend.
Nearly two months had been off for players since the league was paused in May for players to join national teams.
In the South, defending champions Becamex Binh Duong will play phenomenon Hoang Anh Gia Lai, while in the North, powerhouse T&T Ha Noi will welcome Can Tho.
Go Dau will host most of the national stars such as top national striker Le Cong Vinh and well-known players Nguyen Trong Hoang, Mai Tien Thanh, and Nguyen Phuoc Tu of the home team.
Hot names, including Nguyen Cong Phuong, Nguyen Tuan Anh, and Luong Xuan Truong, of the visitors who drove the country crazy in the past two years will be present too.
Binh Duong are in good form for V.League 1, which returns after a long break. They will just warm up with two wins at the National Cup event.
In this match, they will present Simic Marko from Croatia who will make a perfect pair with Senegan Cheikh Abass Dieng, one of the leading scorers on the front line.
While Binh Duong plan to retain their title, Hoang Anh Gia Lai will try to avoid relegation.
Coach Guillaume Graechen of Hoang Anh Gia Lai confirmed their target on Wednesday.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai are near the bottom of the table, with a good number of their members exhausted and injured after SEA Games.
They have also made some changes in the lineup, with U23 midfielder Bui Tien Dung and strikers Clovis Franklin and Sanogo Moussa.
It is expected that their key player, Luong Xuan Truong, will be back from a long recovery from an injury to lead the midfield.
The two side have met 20 times since 2005, and Binh Duong have won eight, drew five, and lost seven games.
At Hang Day, although at a lower level compared to hosts Ha Noi T&T, coach Vu Quang Bao of Can Tho still wants to bring home at least a point.
His goal is reasonable as they remarkably improved their strength with strikers Sunday Emmanuel and Oseni Ganiyu Bolayi recently.
Meanwhile, Ha Noi are suffering bubble performance that pulled them down to the No 9 slot of the ranking table.
It is the first time that Ha Noi T&T are faced with such crisis since their triumph in 2013.
Coach Phan Thanh Hung expects that two wins at the National Cup earlier this week will be a push for the team, which are considered one of the title favourites at the beginning of the season.
Elsewhere, host Quang Ninh Coal will seek their first win after five months at Cam Pha Stadium. They will play former champions Song Lam Nghe An, both have already been ousted from the National Cup.
Dong Nai will entertain SHB Da Nang, while Thanh Hoa will play Dong Tam Long An. Meanwhile, Hai Phong will host Dong Thap, and Sanna Khanh Hoa will visit Quang Nam. — VNS