Battles at both ends of the table are increasingly fierce as the V-League 2011 season still has one or two more plot twists to keep fans on the edge of their seats until the final day.
HCM CITY —
Leaders Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) are seizing the upper hand over Da Nang and Ha Noi T&T in the title race, while six teams are still in contention for relegation.
SLNA, with 42 points, will have a tough match against seventh-placed Navibank Sai Gon at home today.
Although both teams did not have good form in the five recent rounds, the home team is considered the favourite this afternoon because the club has the best players.
Moreover, the HCM City-based team does not have a good record at away games, winning only one game (against Dong Thap) this season.
Da Nang, which is at a disadvantage in the title race with six points behind SLNA, may have an easier home match against Dong Tam Long An, which are still trying to run away from the relegation zone.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai is expected to get full points as they take on second-bottom Khanh Hoa at Gia Lai.
The win will dispel any anxiety over any possibility of dropping back in the danger zone.
At the other end, the bottom-ranked team Hai Phong, which finished as runner-up last season, faces the risk of being demoted to the First Division. It has fired coach Vuong Tien Dung.
Newly appointed Nguyen Dinh Hung's team have no choice but to defeat Hoa Phat Ha Noi at Lach Tray Stadium if they are to stay up in the V-League.
Ha Noi ACB and Ninh Binh, which have not been safe from relegation, will have to slug it out to get full points today because any of two teams getting three points will survive.