Captain Lê Văn Thắng of Thanh Hóa (left) runs away from Nguyễn Vũ Tín of Sài Gòn FC during their match last week. Thanh Hóa will play Nam Định on May 30 at home. — Photo courtesy of VPF
HÀ NỘI — Thanh Hóa will have the chance to extend their six-game undefeated V.League 1 run when they face Nam Định today at home.
A win over the fourth from bottom side will help coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng and his team inch closer to the top three, though Nam Định are in form, having beaten defending champions Hà Nội last time out.
Both teams have recently made changes to their coaching staff.
Thanh Hóa hired Nguyễn Văn Đệ back to a second spell as team president, replacing Trần Quốc Hùng.
Đệ’s comeback has motivated the team to three wins and two draws, maintaining their unbeaten home record.
The home side’s striker Rimario Gordon is in fine form, with the Jamaican having netted three times and notched two assists.
The hosts have scored 12 goals out of their 18 at their Thanh Hóa Stadium. Among them eight were scored in the last 30 minutes of the matches.
Nam Định changed their manager last week, with Nguyễn Văn Dũng replacing his younger brother Nguyễn Văn Sỹ, who is now the team’s technical director.
In the first match under new coach, Nam Định shocked defending champions Hà Nội FC 2-0 at the former’s Thiên Trường Stadium.
In the side’s two meetings last season, both matches ended as draws.
“Thanh Hóa are not as strong as they were last season in terms of personnel. But they are in good form now and in the coming match, they will be strongly supported by thousands of fans. It will be great for the players. Playing without pressure will bring strong influence on their playing style,” said Dũng.
“Our target is a point from this match,” said the former national team midfielder.
Nam Định have not lost any games away this season.
In other fixtures, SHB Đà Nẵng entertain HCM City at Hòa Xuân Stadium.
Đà Nẵng are in the middle of the table with 15 points while HCM City lead with 26 points, five clear of Hà Nội FC.
A victory for the southern side will mean HCM City top the table at the halfway break.
However, defender Nguyễn Công Thành will be absent after he was banned two matches by the Việt Nam Football Federation as his boot connected with Sông Lam Nghệ An’s midfielder Phạm Xuân Mạnh’s chest in their match last week.
Đà Nẵng, meanwhile, are on form at Hòa Xuân as they have won their last three home games against Quảng Ninh, Sanna Khánh Hòa and Hoàng Anh Gia Lai.
A win over the leading team will help Đà Nẵng jump into top three if Thanh Hóa fail to beat Nam Định. — VNS