Nuti Café V.League 2018 – Round 5 Preview

Tough trips expected for Hanoi FC and Quang Ninh Coal

Friday, 2018-04-13 13:03:03
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Quang Ninh Coal (in blue) will surely try their best for a victory at SHB Da Nang in order to reclaim the trust from home fans.
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NDO – Former V.League champions, Hanoi FC and Quang Ninh Coal, are flying high in the Nuti Café V.League 2018, occupying the top two places in the provisional standings after the first four games with three wins and one draw. However, both are anticipated to have tough trips to SHB Da Nang and Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN, respectively, in the fifth round of play on April 13 and 14.

>>> V.League 2018: Hanoi FC dethrone Quang Ninh Coal from top spot

In-form Quang Ninh Coal had been expected to build on their impressive V.League run by a resounding away win over Hoang Anh Gia Lai in a National Cup qualifier a few days ago. But, the deployment of a young lineup with substitutes forced manager Phan Thanh Hung’s side to pay, suffering a heavy defeat of five unanswered goals.

It seemed that Hung wanted to maintain his team’s ultimate fitness for the V.League front, so decided to keep a number of key players on the bench. This is understandable because on Friday (April 13), Quang Ninh Coal will travel to Khanh Hoa’s 19-8 (August 19) Stadium for the first clash of the fifth round. Journeys to the coastal city of Nha Trang have never been easy for visitors. Most recently, manager Vo Dinh Tan’s side forced last year’s runners-up FLC Thanh Hoa to concede a heartbreaking 1-3 defeat in a rescheduled match of the first round. It is a strong message that the home side sends to Quang Ninh Coal. Sanna Khanh Hoa currently stand at third place in the 2018 V.League table, three points behind the second-place team, Quang Ninh Coal, but a home victory today will possibly help to invert that order.

Another focus match of Round 5 is the April 14 encounter between fourth-placed SHB Da Nang and the leaders, Hanoi FC. Despite an opening loss, it seems that SHB Da Nang has found their rhythm as they have remained unbeaten in the last three matches with two wins and one draw, thus joining the leading group and becoming a tough competitor for other title contenders.

Manager Chu Dinh Nghiem's Hanoi FC are demonstrating a top form in the 2018 V.League with three wins and one draw.

In other words, SHB Da Nang is being considered at the same level with Hanoi FC, which have experienced a four-game unbeaten streak (three wins and one draw) to remain on top of the provisional V.League table. However, Hanoi’s advantage over Da Nang is only equivalent to the points of a victory, so a win at the Saturday home match at Hoa Xuan Stadium will be the chance for manager Nguyen Minh Phuong’s players to overthrow the leaders.

FLC Thanh Hoa will play guest to Becamex Binh Duong with significant changes in the coaching staff, as manager Mihail Cucchiaroni was dismissed for poor results, and his assistant, Hoang Thanh Tung, has been temporarily appointed as a replacement. Thanh Hoa’s football fans are hoping the changes in management will result in changes in their favourite team’s gloomy performance.

XSKT Can Tho are showing signs of improvement in the accumulation of points to complete the goal of avoiding relegation. The fourth-round victory against Hai Phong has brought about the positive effects on the spirit of manager Dinh Hong Vinh’s players. However, it is vital that Can Tho maintain their current form in order to foster their hopes of winning more points.

V.League newbies Nam Dinh (in yellow) have missed out on a point in the past three matches since their opening draw against XSKT Can Tho.

Meanwhile, the 2-0 triumph over Ho Chi Minh City in the rescheduled match of the first round helped Song Lam Nghe An to pocket their first win of the season, but more importantly, it has worked to relieve the heavy psychological pressure from manager Nguyen Duc Thang and his players, as well as their thirst for points during the past month. Song Lam Nghe An have been back stronger, and the fifth-round trip to Can Tho Stadium is an opportunity for them to prove that.

V.League newbies Nam Dinh are experiencing a crisis concerning both profession and psychology, as they managed to score just a solitary point after four league games. The wide gap in terms of profession, steaming from the quality of players, is a thorny issue to which manager Nguyen Van Sy has yet to find a solution. Therefore, it will remain difficult for the newly promoted team to reap a positive result when taking on the sixth-place team Ho Chi Minh City at Thien Truong Stadium tomorrow.

Reigning V.League champions Quang Nam FC have been dragged down close to the relegation zone in the provisional standings with only four points gained after four rounds of play, together with poor match statistics. Manager Hoang Van Phuc’s side were short of breath right from the starting line, and after a flying 2017 season, the limitations of Quang Nam players have been revealed, including the factor of psychological pressure. The trip to Hai Phong’s Lach Tray Stadium on April 15 will be a good opportunity for the title holders to make a breakthrough, as manager Truong Viet Hoang’s side is also in the same situation, placed right above Quang Nam in the table, at 11th position, with just four points.