Shenzhen FC v Cangzhou Mighty Lions
Shenzhen were expecting to go top of the Chinese Super League table last weekend but took their eye off the ball and lost to Meikhou. This is then a big game for the southerners who have yet to play one of the top teams so far this season.
Dai Wai-tsun has impressed on the left side of midfield but was quiet in the previous game. He may not get much space behind the defence as Cangzhou like to sit deep but with Shenzhen expected to have plenty of the ball, he is more equipped than most to find the right pass to create chances for others.
Shenzhen have more firepower than most with Frank Acheampong one of the best strikers in the league and already looking good this season. New French signing Romain Alessandrini also opened his account last week and, all in all, Cangzhou are going to spend most of the game defending but will struggle to keep this attack at bay for the full 90 minutes.
Cangzhou have had a better than expected start to the season and have collected five points from the opening three games and are unbeaten. They were, however, poor in the weekend’s 0-0 draw against Chengdu. Second-best for much of the game, they were a little fortunate to come away with a point.
Cangzhou will be delighted if they can come away from this game with a point and will not be ambitious. Shenzhen will make most of the running and should do enough to take three points.
Meizhou Hakka v Beijing Guoan
This should be a close game as neither team have won comfortably or been clearly second best in any game so far this season and have not shown any fear at all in adapting to the top tier. They are growing in confidence, especially after a fine 2-1 win over Shenzhen at the weekend, a result that keeps them unbeaten.
Meizhou have yet to keep a clean sheet but have conceded one goal every game. They have only scored four this season but keep possession well and can be patient in the build-up.
Beijing have bounced back from their opening day defeat to win two in a row. The last was a 1-0 victory over Tianjin that came thanks to Croatian substitute Marko Dabro who scored with four minutes remaining just after coming on. That game showed that Beijing, who are still without injured midfielder Li Ke, can struggle to create quality chances against a well-organised team. There are still question marks over new Nigerian striker Samuel Adegenro who has yet to adapt to Chinese football.
Beijing have conceded goals this season but that is partly the result of attacking players who have yet to really get with the rest of the team and causing an imbalance. There were signs that organisation and concentration at the back were improving in the win over Tianjin. Adegenro also worked harder to help the team.
At this stage of the season, both teams will be happy with a point. Beijing are still a big team in China and Meizhou will see a draw as another step in the right direction while Beijing are still looking to find their rhythm, especially in attack.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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