|The Vietnamese team train to prepare for the match against Syria. — Photo toquoc.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese national football team is ready to meet Syria today (June 20) in the international friendly match in the framework of FIFA Days.
To prepare for the event, coach Philippe Troussier has shortened his squad to 30 players. The French coach retained 21 out of 23 players in the list of registered players for the recent match against Hong Kong (China), and added nine Vietnamese players, including three U23 players.
The six additional Vietnamese national players are goalkeeper Trần Minh Toàn, defenders Vũ Văn Thanh, Bùi Tiến Dụng, strikers Nguyễn Công Phượng, Nguyễn Văn Toàn and Nhâm Mạnh Dũng. Three players in the U23 squad were given the opportunity to join the national team, they are goalkeeper Nguyễn Văn Việt, midfielders Nguyễn Thái Sơn and Nguyễn Đức Phú.
This makes it seven of the total squad are now from the U23 set up, proving the coach is willing to try out young talent.
Many key players of the Vietnamese team have been working hard in training to regain their form. The most typical is the case of Nguyễn Quang Hải, Công Phương and Văn Toàn. After making great efforts in the match against Hong Kong, Quang Hải continued to be trusted by Troussier to be on the list of 30 players. Công Phương and Văn Toàn are also expected to be the main players against Syria.
After the 1-0 victory against Hong Kong, Việt Nam is determined to keep up winning ways against Syria.
However, Syria are ranked 90th on the FIFA rankings, four places higher than Việt Nam. The match will be a challenge for the Vietnamese side.
In the World Cups in 2018 and 2022, the Syrian team participated in the third qualifying round. Notably, Syria almost had a ticket to the intercontinental play-off match to determine the final place to attend the World Cup 2018, but they lost to Australia.
Syria are led by famous coach Hector Cuper who helped Egypt to attend the 2018 World Cup, helped Valencia twice compete in the UEFA Champions League final, with Real Mallorca won the Spanish Super Cup in 1998), and helped Lanus Club win the Copa Commebol.
On the occasion of FIFA Days in March, Syria beat Thailand 3-1 and lost to Bahrain 0-1.
The Syrian team arrived in Việt Nam on June 12 to train and get used to the weather conditions. The careful preparation has also shown the great determination of Syria.
Coach Cuper brought to Việt Nam 26 players with a total squad value of more than 8.7 million euros (US$9.5 million) (according to the transfermarkt.com), of which the player with the highest value is striker Omar Al Somah, priced at 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million). Somah ranks seventh in the list of the best scorers in the history of the Syrian team.
However, Somah is not the most valuable player in Syrian football today. That position belongs to Omar Khribin who doesn’t participate in the Syrian squad to Việt Nam. He is absent due to being busy dealing with some personal issues.
In recent meetings with Syria, Việt Nam had one win, one draw and one loss.
The match between Việt Nam and Syria will take place at 7.30pm at Thiên Trường Stadium in Nam Định Province. — VNS