HCM CITY (VNS)— V-League leaders Ha Noi T&T look to extend their lead at the top of the V-League table as they are tipped to win an encounter with Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the 13th round of the Eximbank V-League 2013 this weekend.
Despite playing away against a rejuvenated Gia Lai, who have been unbeaten at home this season, coach Phan Thanh Hung's team is rated higher, given the quality players they have and their current brilliant performance.
However, a tough match awaits Ha Noi T&T at Pleiku stadium, as Gia Lai have been credited as a team of high quality that can challenge for the title.
The team of the South Korean coach has been the only one that stopped high-flying Song Lam Nghe An's winning run and caused Nguyen Huu Thang's team to taste the first defeat of the season which moved SLNA into a tailspin and left this club winless for the last six games.
Although Gia Lai lost two recent games, Hung is cautious about a win over Gia Lai and has a high opinion of their team's opponent.
"It is an important game for us because Gia Lai always play well at home. They have some good players, especially the dangerous pair of strikers Oseni Bolaji and Evaldo Goncaves," Hung said.
Other title contenders Da Nang and SLNA will have a good chance to stay close with Ha Noi T&T when they make a trip to average teams.
Da Nang, which is in fourth place with 18 points, will today travel to Kien Giang, which is ranked at 10th place with 12 points.
Nghe An, which is second with 21 points, will tomorrow visit beleaguered Hai Phong, which lost three recent games to fall from third to sixth place.
Binh Duong is expected to have a difficult match against Sai Gon Xuan Thanh at Go Dau stadium today, while Thanh Hoa are likely to record a win over second-from-the-bottom Dong Tam Long An tomorrow.
Ninh Binh will also have a difficult Sunday against Dong Nai, and the hosts can leapfrog their opponent in the rankings if they win the match. — VNS