World Cup qualifiers

Who will be XI for Vietnam against Malaysia with star midfielder Quang Hai suspended?

Friday, 2021-06-11 07:32:18
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With the absence of key midfielder Quang Hai (far left), head coach Park Hang-seo is well-prepared for his replacement. (Photo: VFF)
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NDO – As key midfielder Nguyen Tuan Anh suffering an injury and talisman Nguyen Quang Hai suspended, head coach Park Hang-seo has carefully planned his replacements for Vietnam’s starting line-ups, as the team to face Malaysia in their penultimate clash in the second round of the 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers.

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This morning, Park announced the official registration list of 23 Vietnamese players for tonight’s Group G match against Malaysia at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, UAE.

Accordingly, midfielder Quang Hai was not registered as he had collected two yellow cards, while his peer Tuan Anh had not yet recovered from an injury in the previous 4-0 victory over Indonesia.

However, the list of 23 players selected by Park recognises the return of veteran midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang and young centre-back Tran Dinh Trong after their suspensions expire.

Dealing with a determined Malaysia after heartbreak in a 4-0 defeat against the UAE, the Vietnamese team will therefore likely enter the game more cautiously, starting with a 3-5-2 formation to ensure a solid midfield, as in the previous match against Indonesia.

In the wooden frame, veteran keeper Tan Truong and the trio of defenders Que Ngoc Hai, Bui Tien Dung and Duy Manh are almost "invulnerable". This quartet is still showing high performance, bringing a certain peace of mind. Vietnam welcomes the return key defender Dinh Trong and Trong Hoang after their suspensions. However, Vietnam’s defence is still quite stable with Tien Dung, Ngoc Hai and Duy Manh, so Dinh Trong will be a backup plan.

The two full-backs will likely still be Van Thanh and Hong Duy, who played well in the match against Indonesia, with Hong Duy having contributed in two out of the four goals of the Vietnamese team, while Van Thanh directly scored the fourth goal for Vietnam in that match.

The central midfield is likely to have a big change. With the absence of Quang Hai and Tuan Anh, the centre is left open for Xuan Truong, who replaced Tuan Anh from the 36th minute in the game against Indonesia and left a mark in Cong Phuong's second goal for Vietnam.

Vietnam’s probable XI

Truong may have Trong Hoang on his side in the midfield. The volatile Viettel winger is capable of playing as an attacking midfielder. Therefore, it would not be surprising if Park lets Trong Hoang return to the position that is his forte.

Quang Hai will not play, but the Vietnamese team can be completely assured in Hoang Duc's ability to control the ball. Duc will probably be used from the beginning as the Viettel's midfielder was also brought into the field to warm up in the second half against the Indonesians. The other in the left wing is Van Duc, a drill that Park is still waiting to shine in the next match like he did in the game against Indonesia.

On the offensive line, with the opening goal against Indonesia, Tien Linh continued to show that he was the "killer of the penalty area". Linh deserves the opportunity to kick the striker. Meanwhile, Cong Phuong can play from the beginning in place of Van Toan. In the match against Indonesia, Cong Phuong came on from the bench and scored a goal for the Vietnamese team.

The match between Vietnam and Malaysia will take place at 23:45 tonight (in Vietnam time). Coach Park Hang-seo's team set the goal of collecting full three points to protect their top position in Group G, and at the same time opening the door to the final qualifying round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.