Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo said that he has studied the rival Malaysia team and that while Vietnam may have some advantages in the contest, he remains cautious.
Park told a news conference the day before the game that Vietnam will have the home advantage, that his team will have three more days rest between games than Malaysia, and that he’ll be able to field his best players for the game. Meanwhile, he said that Malaysian Coach Kim Pan-gon won’t be able to utilize some of the key players from Malaysia’s famous club Johor Darul Ta’zim which refused to release the players as AFF Cup is not part of FIFA tournaments.
But Park told journalists that Kim, a fellow South Korean, may not consider these things disadvantages.
“You may think that Malaysia are missing some of its key players but their coach might not think so,” said Park. “From what I see, Malaysia have the best squad at the moment.”
Park added that Malaysia used their best players for the Myanmar game, but in the match against a weaker Laos, they rested their best players to save them for the clash with Vietnam in the 2022 AFF Cup group stage.
Furthermore, Vietnam may not have the service of star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai in this game. The Pau FC player has muscle ache and was subbed out during the first half of the game with Laos. Although he’s back training, chances are Park won’t use him right away in the Malaysia game.
Since Park became the head coach of Vietnam in 2017, Vietnam have gone undefeated against Malaysia in all levels and tournaments.
“For the last five years, I was lucky to stay undefeated against Malaysia,” said Park. “But the pre-game stats don’t mean much. All I know is trying my best and my job is to spread that spirit to the players.”
The Vietnam and Malaysia clash will be held in Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium from 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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