Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — FLC Thanh Hóa are currently at the V.League’s top position in all five rounds.
The two runners-up, however, are close on their heels, with just two and three points less, respectively. A win today over SHB Đà Nẵng would help FLC Thanh Hóa maintain their position as the leading team.
FLC Thanh Hóa, with 13 points, are the only squad who have not lost this season. Hà Nội FC, who draw Hải Phòng 1-1 in an early match of the round on February 16, are third with 11 points. Quảng Nam are at third with 11.
This undefeated streak will be to Thanh Hóa’s advantage when they visit Xuân Hòa Stadium to play former winners SHB Đà Nẵng, who last week tied against defending champions Hà Nội FC 1-1 on away ground at Hàng Đẫy.
However coach Petrovic and his team are not at full strength for this match.
Their captain Pape Omar is serving a six-round fine. Midfielder Ngô Hoàng Thịnh and striker Uche Iheruome have not yet recovered from their injuries, and in latest news, attacking midfielder Lê Quốc Phương who is called Thanh Hóa’s Messi has received a two-match ban.
Đà Nẵng are speeding up to catch up with the top three teams. A win against the leading club will help them reach there.
Coach Lê Huỳnh Đức has been worried from the beginning of the season when his three key players failed to compete for different reasons. However, Đức helped his team win eight points and stay at fifth place.
Their new stadium seems to be a lucky venue as they have won both their matches here.
Đức also said he is satisfied with how his players have worked hard to overcome several difficulties.
Talented forward Hà Đức Chinh has done a good job in his V.League debut at the age of 19. Chinh scored three goals in the national premier league and three more in the National Cup competition. He is now the best scorer of the team.
With Chinh at his peak, Đức’s young side came from behind to wins points from two matches. They have two wins, two draws and only one loss in total.
SHB Đà Nẵng has won one and drawn two of their recent three matches against FLC Thanh Hóa.
In other action, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will visit Becamex Bình Dương at Gò Đậu Stadium.
The visiting team are excited following their first win, 3-0, against Cần Thơ on Sunday. More importantly, their best striker Nguyễn Công Phượng netted for the first time after more than 500 days of not scoring.
His goal draught has finally ended and he is expected to score more frequently, according to Hoàng Anh Gia Lai official Nguyễn Tấn Anh.
However, Becamex Bình Dương will not be easy to bully.
They are the home of former national striker Nguyễn Anh Đức, who is now the best scorer of the V.League with six goals.
Previously, they destroyed Cần Thơ 5-1, before two unexpected draws to powerhouses FLC Thanh Hóa and Sài Gòn FC.
HCM City, meanwhile, is the hot name of the tournament after the nation’s best striker Lê Công Vinh was appointed the team’s president.
Vinh has made several changes to introduce the best conditions for his team. The latest move is a contract with naturalised defender Đặng Văn Robert, who is expected to push the team, which is currently second from the bottom, up in the ranking.
Robert previously played successfully for Becamex Bình Dương in 2013-16. He enjoyed two champion titles and two Super Cup trophies.
Striker Nguyễn Tuấn Anh will also be back in action following his long rest due to injury.
Assistant coach Phùng Thanh Phương will be added to the team’s coaching board. Phương worked closely with the team when they were promoted from the First Division to the V.League. He was assigned to train the young squad from the start of the season but, at present, has been asked to help coach Alain Antoine Fiard from the sixth round.
In this round, the team will host Long An at home and are in search of a win following two consecutive losses . Long An also have no points from their three recent games.
Elsewhere, Quảng Ninh Coal will host two-time champions Sông Lam Nghệ An, Sài Gòn will meet Cần Thơ and Quảng Nam will face Sanna Khánh Hóa. — VNS