V.League Preview

Hanoi FC vs. Viettel: Another derby win for the reigning champions?

Friday, 2019-09-13 17:09:21
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

Hanoi FC (in blue) beat Viettel with two straight goals in the first leg.
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – This Sunday, September 15, Hang Day Stadium is hosting a Hanoi derby between reigning champions Hanoi FC and newly promoted Viettel. Inspired by their flying form over recent weeks, it will come as little surprise if Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side take another victory against the V.League newbies to move a crucial step forward in their title defence campaign.

Hanoi FC made light work of Viettel with two unanswered goals as the two sides met on matchday three six months ago. During the clash, the title holders demonstrated a superior level compared to their city neighbours, who only managed an unconverted penalty in the last minutes of play.

The second-leg derby is predicted to continue witnessing a prevalent game produced by Hanoi FC. Chu Dinh Nghiem’s troops are dashing towards the finishing line proving unstoppable by any opponents they face. They have won their last four V.League matches and have already booked a place in the AFC Cup Inter-zone final. Most recently, Hanoi FC thrashed Nam Dinh FC 6-1 in a rescheduled match of matchday 22 to restore their five-point lead at the top, with striker Van Quyet netting a brace and particularly Pape Omar Faye also getting on the scoresheet to continue leading the “Golden Boot” race with 14 goals. A destructive attacking power remains the biggest highlight in Hanoi FC’s amazing run so far this season.

Meanwhile, Viettel currently stand at 11th place with 27 points, just two points clear of the relegation zone. Nguyen Hai Bien’s side will have to struggle for points in the remaining four matchdays to solidify their chance of retaining a place in the V.League next season. However, it seems unlikely they’ll do that against powerhouses Hanoi FC this Sunday.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) will travel to Saigon FC on September 14 without midfielder and playmaker Tuan Anh, who has been granted a one-match suspension following his three yellow cards. This can be considered a huge loss for Lee Tae-hoon’s side, as the away match at Thong Nhat Stadium is of great importance to their race to escape relegation at the end of the season. At the moment, HAGL are ranked 12th, only one point clear of second-from-bottom Thanh Hoa FC. A victory against Saigon will be a must for Lee’s troops to continue fostering their V.League hopes.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai (in white) are now only one point clear of the relegation zone.

However, the three-point mission will never be simple for HAGL, with the hosts having won three of their last four league matches to climb to eighth position with 29 points.

Despite the absence of Tuan Anh, the situation is hoped to be not so pessimistic to the guests, as they welcome the timely return of foreign forward Felipe Martins and defender Dung Quang Nho from injuries. These two players are said to have fully recovered and are now ready to play against Saigon FC.

Seventh-placed Hai Phong FC will host a poor-form Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN at Lach Tray Stadium, which is considered an ideal chance for Truong Viet Hoang’s troops to bag the full three points in a bid to conquer the top three in the league table. Sanna Khanh Hoa have been rooted at rock bottom for a while now, five points behind the penultimate team Thanh Hoa FC. An additional defeat may be a deathly blow to their fragile hopes of securing a V.League berth next season.

Second-placed Ho Chi Minh City will play guest to Nam Dinh FC with an optimal goal of winning the full three points to compete for the overall trophy against Hanoi FC. Nonetheless, playing away at Thien Truong Stadium has never been an easy challenge for any team.

In other matchday 23 fixtures, Quang Nam FC, Becamex Binh Duong and Thanh Hoa FC will grab the home advantage over SHB Da Nang, Song Lam Nghe An and Quang Ninh Coal, respectively.

VAN TOAN