Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — All eyes will be clearly focused on Hàng Đẫy Stadium Saturday as Hà Nội FC look to strengthen their position at the top of V.League 1.
Hoping to put a dent in their title challenge will be FLC Thanh Hóa who currently sit in fifth place in the table.
Although both have strong teams, many believe the home side’s mix of youth and experience will be too much for Thanh Hóa.
With six wins and two draws this season, Hà Nội are yet to taste defeat in the league after eight games and already the gap at the top is six points with Quảng Ninh Coal their closest challengers.
Saturday’s visitors to Hà Nội have never lifted the title, and came closest last season finishing runner’s up.
The home team has won the national premier league three times in 2010, 2013 and 2016. Last season they finished in third, a place behind tomorrow’s opposition.
Hà Nội Chu Đình Nghiêm believes the team he faces tomorrow are potential challengers for the top prize.
“In recent years, Thanh Hóa have invested strongly with good rookies such as midfielders Vũ Minh Tuấn, Nguyễn Minh Tùng and Nguyễn Xuân Thành,” he said.
“They are arch rivals for the title of this year’s football season. It is not easy to beat them.”
The 3-1 win against Quảng Ninh Coal last week will be a driving force for Thanh Hóa in the upcoming game. That was the first win of coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng after his recent appointment,.
Following this win, Thanh Hóa rushed to train hard without days off.
“We want our players have good manners to prepare for the match with Hà Nội. Our rival have undefeated matches, so of course, they are very strong,” said Thắng.
Thắng used to be coach of Hà Nội’s junior players including Nguyễn Quang Hải, Đoàn Văn Hậu and Nguyễn Thành Chung who are in the national U23 team , so he knows Hà Nội’s strengths and weaknesses.
But Hàng Đẫy Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for the visitors as they’ve not won there since 2012.
Another match also drawing the attention of fans and media nationwide is the fight between Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) and Sông Lam Nghệ An (SLNA) at Pleiku Stadium in Gia Lai Province.
In the match, HAGL tied 2-2 with Cần Thơ to rank ninth in the standings, while SLNA also drew 1-1 with defending champions Quảng Nam.
Three points on Saturday is vital for both teams who are in desperate need to climb out of the drop zone.
Elsewhere, Quảng Nam will face Nam Định at Tam Kỳ Stadium and Hải Phòng will take on Sanna Khánh Hòa at Lạch Tray Stadium.
Meanwhile today, SHB Đà Nẵng will play Bình Dương, Sài Gòn meet Cần Thơ and Quảng Ninh face HCM City.
Yesterday, HCM City also announced their new chairman Nguyễn Hữu Thắng who was former head coach of Vietnamese national team to replace acting chairman Lê Công Vinh. — VNS