Hà Nội eyes top ranking

Viet Nam News

HÀ N?I — Hà N?i FC will host rivals Sông Lam Ngh? An on their home turf in an early match of the V.League’s round 13 today.

Coach Chu Ðình Nghiêm has fully prepared his team for the meet because in their 16 matches since 2009, Hà N?i have not had positive results against their rival. They have three wins, 10 draw, and three losses.

However, Nghiêm, who took charge of the team last year, has led his team to a win in both matches last season.

Today, he will not have midfielder Cao S? Cu?ng who got a red card last week, but captain Ph?m Thành Luong is ready to play after he was sidelined owing to a foot injury.

Sông Lam Ngh? An will also miss two players — Kha´c Ngo?c and Ngo?c Toa`n — in their team in Hà N?i due to a ban and injury. However, the good news for them is that midfielder Xuân Tha´ng is back in action after he was out with an injury, and defender Ngo?c Ðu´c has completed his ban period. Together, they will strengthen the left wing that has been the weak point of the team in several matches recently.

In this match, Sông Lam Ngh? An will have a huge number of supporters who are all set to paint the Hàng Ð?y Stadium yellow — the  colour of their club’s uniform.

About 4,000 fans, who have come from Ngh? An Province, and live and study in the city, are expected to put up a demonstration from the Kim Liên Hotel — where the players are staying — to the venue.

In this match, both sides will play according to a plan.

Third-placed Hà N?i, who have not lost their last nine matches, are eyeing the top position after they lost it to FLC Thanh Hóa last week due to an unexpected draw with Sanna Khánh Hòa.

In case of a win, they will top the tournament for at least a day before Thanh Hóa play their game against Sài Gòn FC.

On the other hand, Sông Lam Ngh? An, the former champions, are keen to improve their position. They are currently at No. 10 and have never been in the upper half of the ranking this season.

They also have a poor record in their away games. In the last three matches, they were able to garner just one point.

Thanh Hóa need only a point from their match with Sài Gòn to champion the first leg of the tournament. Thanh Hóa’s performance has been unstable with two wins which were sandwiched between two draws and one loss. Meanwhile, Sài Gòn are in good form with two draws and three wins.

Elsewhere this weekend, H?i Phòng will visit former champions Becamex Bình Duong; Sanna Khánh Hòa, who have not lost in their last five matches, will travel to HCM City; Qu?ng Nam will entertain bottom-placed Long An; SHB Ðà N?ng will play C?n Tho; Hoàng Anh Gia Lai without their best players will see Qu?ng Ninh Coal. — VNS

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