Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The V.League 2017 season promises competitive and dramatic matches from the first rounds after a draw held on Wednesday in Hà Nội.
14 clubs will take part in the tournament, which is scheduled on January 8 to October 29. In the first round, reigning champions Hà Nội T&T will play its opener match against fourth-placed Quảng Ninh Coal at Hàng Đẫy Stadium.
Hà Nội T&T will have chance at payback after losing 1-2 to Quảng Ninh Coal in their National Cup’s final, second leg, in September.
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will again lure people’s attention this season. They welcome back national idols Nguyễn Công Phượng and Nguyễn Tuấn Anh after one year competing in Japan.
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will visit SHB Đà Nẵng, who finished third after a tense, last-second race to win title last year.
SHB Đà Nẵng will introduce a new and young team after saying goodbye to aged and not-in-plan players while using their own-trained players from youth squads.
Hải Phòng--who missed their first ever crown in the last round match--will welcome Sài Gòn FC, who have lured a number of senior and experienced members during their preparation for the new year.
A central region derby between FLC Thanh Hóa and Sông Lam Nghệ An will also spotlight the first round.
Thanh Hóa, one of the richest teams supported by the powerful FLC Group, will host a visiting side who have a high number of royal fans.
Former champions Becamex Bình Dương--who have new manager and plan to rebuild the core of the squad--will host Sanna Khánh Hòa, an all-time V.League dark horse.
New-comer HCM City FC will taste atmosphere of the national premier league when they are at home to Quảng Nam.
And on their home turf, Cần Thơ will entertain Long An.
Earlier, on December 31, a Super National Cup between V.League champions Hà Nội T&T and National Cup winner Quảng Ninh Coal will be organised.
All V.League matches will be aired live on television and the official media channel of the organisers at youtube.com/user/Vpfmedia.At the draw ceremony, organisers also announced plans for the First Division with 10 teams from January 7 to July 29 and the National Cup from February 5 to November 5.
Clubs are allowed to have two foreigners and one naturalised player in their games. Hà Nội T&T and Quảng Ninh Coal--who are Vietnamese representatives at Asian competitions--can have a third foreigner, but one of them must be from Asia or Australia.
During the tournaments, they will have four breaks when players will be summoned to serve national duties. — VNS