V.League preview: High-flying Hanoi FC look to solidify dominance

Friday, 2019-05-03 17:50:52
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Hanoi FC (in white) and Becamex Binh Duong (in blue) share points in their latest two meetings at Binh Duong’s Go Dau stadium.
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NDO – Hanoi FC will have the chance to consolidate their reign on top of the table as they play guest to out-of-form Becamex Binh Duong on matchday 8 of the 2019 V.League on Sunday (May 5).

Both teams currently stand second in their AFC Cup groups, scoring the same ten points after five matches. However, there remains a big difference in terms of form between the two when returning to the domestic arena.

Hanoi FC brilliantly outclassed Ho Chi Minh City 1-0 in their latest V.League game last weekend to dominantly lead the title race one point clear. After the first seven matches, Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side remains the only unbeaten team among the 14 V.League participants.

Meanwhile, Becamex Binh Duong went on to show uncertainty and inefficiency in their playing style with a 3-2 defeat against Hai Phong FC, their fifth loss in a row. Therefore, the home advantage will possibly count for nothing when Nguyen Thanh Son’s troops take on in-form Hanoi FC, who are in flying mood after their resounding 5-1 win over Cambodia’s Nagaworld FC at the AFC Cup.

SHB Da Nang are expected to face a tough challenge as they play a difficult opponent, Quang Ninh Coal, who are now in fourth position with 13 points. The former champions are currently in crisis after having gone five consecutive games without a victory. Such a poor run has immersed Le Huynh Duc’s side into 12th place just one point above the relegation zone. Meanwhile, under the leadership of manager Phan Thanh Hung, Quang Ninh Coal are now highly confident as they are only one point behind the top three frontrunners. Undoubtedly, the guests will not want to spurn this glorious chance to bag the full three points to break into the top-three spots in the table after matchday 8.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai (in white) are expected to secure first win under new manager Lee Tae-hoon while visiting Nam Dinh FC (in yellow) this weekend.

Ninth-placed Nam Dinh FC will have a tough trip to tenth-placed Hoang Anh Gia Lai, who are now yearning for a victory after regretfully dropping the triumph in the last minutes in the previous matchday. The upcoming home clash will be the stage for newly appointed manager Lee Tae-hoon to show off his talent to bring the Gia Lai team back to the title race this season.

Newly promoted Viettel FC are now in a flying mood after their 2-0 away win against former champions Quang Nam FC. The increased confidence and the home advantage will be the two crucial weapons for Lee Heung-sil’s troops to produce a surprise while greeting third-placed Song Lam Nghe An this weekend.

Inspired by their narrow 3-2 triumph over Becamex Binh Duong, fifth-placed Hai Phong FC will visit Saigon FC, the closest ranked team behind, with the goal of clinching the full three points to foster their top-three hopes. However, they are expected to face fierce resistance from Saigon FC, whose confidence has been strongly boosted following their convincing 3-1 win against SHB Da Nang.

Bottom-placed Thanh Hoa FC will continue their hunt for their first win of the season by receiving Quang Nam FC on May 6, while a gloomy outlook is waiting for second-from-bottom Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN as they host title favourites Ho Chi Minh City, who had enjoyed a six-game unbeaten run until they were defeated by Hanoi FC in the previous round.

VAN TOAN