DA NANG (VNS)— Da Nang coach Le Huynh Duc is set to name a strong line-up for today's tough V-League clash against fellow title challengers Ha Noi T&T.
Da Nang, who have suffered three defeats in the V-League and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup this season, will welcome their in-form rivals with a point to prove after poor performances in their last two games.
Key striker Gaston Merlo has scored only two goals in five matches and struggled to fully recover from a knee operation, while new recruit David Danny has yet to find his feet after three months with Da Nang.
Duc has blamed his side's poor run on their recent congested schedule.
|Da Nang coach Le Huynh Duc.— Photo tinthethao
"My players had to play eight matches in a month, and they are exhausted. They have had no time to recover from recent games," he told Viet Nam News.
He is confident, however, that the home crowd can act as a 12th man and inspire his charges, including sparkling midfielders Nguyen Minh Phuong and Pham Nguyen Sa, to a victory which would reignite their title bid.
In an effort to counter the threat of Ha Noi's star striker Gonzalo Marronkle – who leads the V-League scoring charts with five goals in as many games – Da Nang will employ the towering Romanian Sabin-Cosmin Goia to block his route to goal.
Da Nang are currently fifth after last week's 1-0 defeat to Hai Phong, while Ha Noi T&T are sitting in second following a 3-1 away win over Thanh Hoa.
Song Lam Nghe An lead the V-League with 13 points after four wins and a draw.
In other V-League fixtures this weekend, Ninh Binh host Binh Duong, Hoang An Gia Lai welcome Kien Giang and Dong Tam Long An take on Song Lam Nghe An. — VNS