What’s the line-up for Vietnam to face UAE in World Cup qualifier?

Wednesday, 2019-11-13 10:00:22
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Vietnam are ready to face the UAE, aiming for the full three points against the group favourites. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – Vietnam are to encounter the UAE at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium on November 14 night and fans are looking forwards to see what the starting line-up coach Park Hang-seo will field in the next important match during their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualification campaign.

>>> Vietnam coach Park sets three-point target for UAE clash

Park and his top-choice goalkeeper Dang Van Lam joined a pre-match press brief on Wednesday morning and after the press conference, the Korean strategist announced his final 23-man strong squad list for the game tomorrow in Group G of the Asian zone’s World Cup qualifiers.

Park’s side are currently second in the group after having won two of their three matches so far, only behind table leaders Thailand, who also have seven points but a better goal difference. UAE, on the other hand, are third in the group with two wins and a defeat.

A victory against under-pressure UAE will help Vietnam get a chance to rise to the top of Group G aiming at qualifying for the third and also the final World Cup qualifying round, a feat that Vietnamese football has never done before. That's why Park and his players are making careful preparations for this match, before hosting regional arch rivals Thailand at home in their fifth World Cup qualifier group stage match on November 19.

It is likely that Park will retain his starting XI as in the same way that has brought his side to two victories in the last two group matches against Malaysia and Indonesia. Against the UAE who are ranked 67th in the FIFA rankings, underdogs Vietnam will play for counterattacks and wait for their chances.

The familiar 3-4-3 formation is probably still the optimal choice in tomorrow game. In the wooden frame, goalkeeper Van Lam will be Park’s first choice as the Russia-born goalie still kept his top form in the previous matches.

A three-man defensive line featuring defenders Bui Tien Dung, captain Que Ngoc Hai and Hanoi FC’s centre-back Do Duy Manh has been operating stable for a long time and the trio are also the most optimal choice for the team at present.

The projected starting line-ups for Vietnam in the Thursday clash with the UAE. (Graphics: Trung Hung)

Meanwhile, the two positions in the two wings will certainly belong to Dutch-based left-back Doan Van Hau and right-back Nguyen Trong Hoang. Van Hau has not yet played an official match for the Eredivisie’s side SC Heerenveen, but he regularly played in the youth tournaments, which may help him maintain his form. Trong Hoang meanwhile has always been Park's quality choice for the right wing with his physique and speed.

The choice for the midfield may give a “headache” for Park as the team now have a range of outstanding midfielders, such as Tuan Anh, Hung Dung, Huy Hung and Duc Huy. Among these names, Tuan Anh is probably the most reasonable choice as he has completely recovered from the previous injury after having a good performance in both Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC and the national team. Tuan Anh's ability to regulate the game speed in the midfield, as well as his good interceptions will be essential for the “Golden Stars” against tall and strong opponents like the UAE.

Tuan Anh partner in the midfield will still be his familiar teammate Do Hung Dung, who impressed in the dramatic 3-1 victory over Indonesia in the previous match a fortnight ago.

In the attacking line, performance of Park’s three strikers will likely determine the success or failure of the team against the West Asian rivals. Star player Nguyen Quang Hai will definitely have a position on the left, after claiming the prestigious ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) men Player of the Year title at the AFF Awards ceremony held in Hanoi five days ago.

Currently, the 60-year-old coach has five real strikers on hand, including Cong Phuong, Anh Duc, Van Toan, Ha Minh Tuan and Tien Linh. Of these, Hoang Duc and Minh Tuan are still with limited international competition’s experience, so it is likely that Cong Phuong, Anh Duc, Van Toan and Tien Linh will be used.

UAE have not proved that they are strong in defence, as in the 2-1 loss to Thailand, coach Bert van Marwijk’s side made a range of defensive mistakes. Their defenders were helpless before the speed of the "War Elephants" and similarly Vietnam do not lack speedy attacks that may cause troubled for the opponent's defence.

On the right wing of the attacking line up, the speed of Van Toan will likely gain him a starting position, while for the centre-forward, Belgian Sint-Truidense’s striker Cong Phuong may start, thanks to his technique, speed and also his luck in scoring multiple important goals against many West Asian teams in previous clashes.

Playing at home will be a huge advantage for Park’s side to collect the full three points against the UAE. Whether or not the "Golden Stars" make use of it? Let’s see how the reigning ASEAN champions play their strong rivals tomorrow, before fighting against Thailand on November 19.

TRUNG HUNG