Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội FC will host rivals Sông Lam Nghệ An on their home turf in an early match of the V.League’s round 13 today.
Coach Chu Đình Nghiêm has fully prepared his team for the meet because in their 16 matches since 2009, Hà Nội have not had positive results against their rival. They have three wins, 10 draw, and three losses.
However, Nghiêm, who took charge of the team last year, has led his team to a win in both matches last season.
Today, he will not have midfielder Cao Sỹ Cường who got a red card last week, but captain Phạm Thành Lương is ready to play after he was sidelined owing to a foot injury.
Sông Lam Nghệ An will also miss two players — Khắc Ngọc and Ngọc Toàn — in their team in Hà Nội due to a ban and injury. However, the good news for them is that midfielder Xuân Thắng is back in action after he was out with an injury, and defender Ngọc Đức has completed his ban period. Together, they will strengthen the left wing that has been the weak point of the team in several matches recently.
In this match, Sông Lam Nghệ An will have a huge number of supporters who are all set to paint the Hàng Đẫy Stadium yellow — the colour of their club’s uniform.
About 4,000 fans, who have come from Nghệ An Province, and live and study in the city, are expected to put up a demonstration from the Kim Liên Hotel — where the players are staying — to the venue.
In this match, both sides will play according to a plan.
Third-placed Hà Nội, who have not lost their last nine matches, are eyeing the top position after they lost it to FLC Thanh Hóa last week due to an unexpected draw with Sanna Khánh Hòa.
In case of a win, they will top the tournament for at least a day before Thanh Hóa play their game against Sài Gòn FC.
On the other hand, Sông Lam Nghệ An, the former champions, are keen to improve their position. They are currently at No. 10 and have never been in the upper half of the ranking this season.
They also have a poor record in their away games. In the last three matches, they were able to garner just one point.
Thanh Hóa need only a point from their match with Sài Gòn to champion the first leg of the tournament. Thanh Hóa’s performance has been unstable with two wins which were sandwiched between two draws and one loss. Meanwhile, Sài Gòn are in good form with two draws and three wins.
Elsewhere this weekend, Hải Phòng will visit former champions Becamex Bình Dương; Sanna Khánh Hòa, who have not lost in their last five matches, will travel to HCM City; Quảng Nam will entertain bottom-placed Long An; SHB Đà Nẵng will play Cần Thơ; Hoàng Anh Gia Lai without their best players will see Quảng Ninh Coal. — VNS