V.League Round 18 Preview:

Hanoi FC take on HCM City in a battle of contrasting moods

Friday, 2018-07-06 11:55:45
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Hanoi FC have gone 17 V.League games with just one loss.
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NDO – The two football clubs representing the two largest cities of the country, Hanoi FC and Ho Chi Minh City, will head into their V.League Round 18 encounter at Hang Day stadium this weekend, ironically in contrasting moods. The capital team are currently flying high on top of the table, while the southern guests are stuck in bottom place following their poor performance over the last few games.

Hanoi are leading the title race with 44 points after an amazing run of 14 wins, two draws and one loss, 16 points clear of second-placed Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN. With such a safe gap and only nine matches left to play, there will be hardly any threat to manager Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side en route to the overall crown, unless they do not want to lift the trophy themselves.

On the contrary, HCM City will travel to Hang Day stadium while rooted to the bottom of the standings, a position that was not predicted by anyone, especially after the team made a lot of investments aimed at booking a place in the top three. After 18 matches, Japanese tactician Toshiya Miura’s side are emerging as the odds-on favourite for a relegation ticket as they are one point behind the second-last team, newly promoted Nam Dinh FC.

It seems nearly impossible for HCM City to finish victorious against in-form Hanoi FC on Sunday. Even, securing a point will also be a tough problem for the southern team to address.

Newly promoted Nam Dinh FC have achieved positive results in the last few rounds of play.

V.League newbies Nam Dinh will play the earliest Round 18 match against Song Lam Nghe An later this afternoon. With the home-field advantage, manager Nguyen Van Sy’s side are targeting a repeat of the first-leg miracle achieved at Vinh stadium, as they edged out the Nghe An side 1-0 for their first victory of the season.

Nam Dinh FC enjoyed an impressive four-game unbeaten run (three wins, one draw) before conceding a 0-1 loss at Saigon FC in the previous round. However, inspired by how they have performed in the last few rounds of play, Nam Dinh are quite capable of looking towards a positive result against their first-leg losers, Song Lam Nghe An, although the guests are in a very good form following a streak of five wins in a row.

Crunch encounters are expected for Saigon FC and XSKT Can Tho, as they take on strong opponents, third-placed FLC Thanh Hoa and fourth-placed Quang Ninh Coal. Despite their home-field advantage, Saigon will have to play with great concentration and make good use of their opportunities if they want to achieve a positive result against Thanh Hoa, who remain unbeaten in five consecutive matches, including four victories.

XSKT Can Tho will have a tough trip to Cam Pha stadium. The mood of manager Dinh Hong Vinh’s side has fallen to its lowest level after going eight games without a triumph. Meanwhile, hosts Quang Ninh Coal are now craving a win to reclaim the trust of the home fans following five consecutive matches of draws and losses.

The provisional V.League table after the 17th round of play.