V.League Round 15 Preview:

Saigon confident of taking full three points at Pleiku stadium

Friday, 2018-06-22 13:37:59
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Favourite striker Nguyen Cong Phuong is expected help Hoang Anh Gia Lai to overcome the current difficult period.
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NDO – Saigon FC, the only team to beat the leaders Hanoi FC in the 2018 V.League so far, are looking to bag the full three points at Pleiku stadium, as they play away to higher-rated Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the 15th round of play later today (June 22).

Manager Phan Van Tai Em’s side will head into the fixture with their confidence riding high following an incredible 5-2 win against title favourites, Hanoi FC, who had remained unbeaten in 13 consecutive league games ahead of the 14th-round clash last weekend.

While it wasn’t quite enough to move Saigon out of the lower half of the table, the fabulous triumph was enough to lift the southern team out of the relegation zone, leaving them third from bottom on 13 points. A victory against Hoang Anh Gia Lai is much needed for Saigon to create a real breakthrough in the standings, and further boost their chances of avoiding relegation at the end of the season.

Given that fact, Tai Em’s players will surely do their utmost to secure the full three points against the Gia Lai team, a mission now seen as realistic after their accomplished performance against Hanoi FC.

While Saigon are confident, their opponents are missing many of their defensive pillars, including Tang Tien and Van Hanh (suspension), which threatens to dent Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s ambition of securing their first win in four matches.

Foreign centre back, Kim Jin-seo, has constantly made mistakes in the past few rounds, leaving Ga Lai’s defence more fragile than ever. Manager Duong Minh Ninh’s side is currently one of the three teams to have conceded the most goals in the 2018 V.League (24), letting in eight in their latest three games. With their current defensive crisis, it looks like it will be a tough encounter for Duong Minh Ninh’s players later this afternoon. Gia Lai’s attacks will have to work at full power to make up for their defensive lapses, if they want to avenge the 1-3 defeat to the southern opponents in the first leg.

FLC Thanh Hoa (left) and Becamex Binh Duong play out a nail-biting 3-3 draw in their first-leg encounter.

After back-to-back wins over SHB Da Nang and XSKT Can Tho, FLC Thanh Hoa are determined to take the full three points when they play at home to former champions Becamex Binh Duong tomorrow (June 23). The central team are showing positive developments since manager Nguyen Duc Thang took the hot seat at Thanh Hoa stadium in early May. Although two 1-0 triumphs in a row are not so impressive, they help to create the momentum and motivation needed to build confidence for FLC Thanh Hoa ahead of their home clash against in-form Becamex Binh Duong.

In other matches, reigning champions Quang Nam will host Hai Phong at Tam Ky stadium, while the table leaders Hanoi FC take on SHB Da Nang. Newly promoted Nam Dinh FC will come very close to breaking out of the bottom place if they win the away match against the second last team, Ho Chi Minh City, tomorrow.