Guangzhou City v Changchun Yatai
Guangzhou are at rock bottom of the Chinese Super League at the moment and have lost all five of their games and have barely scored. They have conceded 14 times already and have only scored three times. They kept champions Shandong to a single goal but did that by sitting back, working hard, and being a little lucky that Shandong did not take their chances.
In the games so far, Guangzhou have created very few clear chances and lack creativity in midfield and an attack that can hold the ball up and bring others in to play.
Changchun are not exactly free scorers either. They did beat Guangzhou 4-1 in the opening round of games but that was when they sat back, allowed Guangzhou to have more of the possession, and then hit quickly and effectively on the counter. Since then, Changchun have scored just once in the subsequent four games and are struggling in front of goal.
Guangzhou are not going to make the same mistake twice. They are likely to be more defensive than in the first meeting and sit deeper. This means that Changchun are going to have to be more proactive and make more of the running. This is not the team’s strength and they don’t have much creativity to unlock defences. With two teams averaging less than a goal a game combined this season, it would not be a surprise if at least one of the two teams are unable to find the back of the net.
Dalian Pro v Henan Songshan Longmen
Dalian have been struggling to score in recent games with just two goals in the last three outings. The latest defeat came against Shandong when they played well in the first half and created some decent chances but were pushed back by the champions and ended up conceding three goals in the last 20 minutes.
There have been worries that Dalian’s energetic pressing style would put too much of a physical burden on the players, especially with the games coming thick and fast. With temperatures and humidity relatively high, it will of had an effect on Dalian in the previous game and it is asking a lot for the players to do the same against Henan.
Whether they can keep Henan out or not, they may struggle to get amongst the goals as the energy levels do seem to be dropping a little. Dalian may not be picking up many points but they are being competitive and are not an easy team to beat.
Henan scored 12 goals in the opening four games and were looking very good and came unstuck against Changchun and were held to a goalless draw. That was a case of Changchun defending well and both teams looked a little tired though Henan looked more likely to break the deadlock.
Dalian are likely to work hard to deny the ball to Henan and cut off the supply to the strikers. It is hard to see too many goals coming in this game and one or both teams may well fail to score.
Zhejiang Professional v Shandong Taishan
Zhejiang picked up their first win earlier in the week with a 4-2 victory over Guangzhou City. It was even more emphatic than the scoreline suggested as the Greens were 4-0 ahead and then took their foot off the pedal somewhat.
Yet facing the team at the bottom is a very different prospect than taking on the champions. Zhejiang are improving slowly but will struggle to keep Shandong out as they have kept just one clean sheet so far this season. Also, while they defeated Guangzhou, they conceded twice against the strugglers who had only scored one goal in the four other games.
When these two met in the first game, Shandong won narrowly 1-0 but they have improved since then and have become more cohesive in attack. In the last two games, they have defeated Changchun Yatai and Dalian pro 4-0 and 3-0. These are two teams that are at least decent defensively. Goalkeeper Wang Delai is back to his best and commanding in the area.
Star foreigner Marouane Fellaini is playing more minutes in every game and played the second half in the most recent game. The former Manchester United star has now scored two goals in three substitute appearances and may well start in this game. Regardless, as he showed with the header that started the goals against Dalian, he is a force that Chinese defences struggle to contain whether he starts or comes off the bench.
Shandong are hitting form right now and looking increasingly dangerous going forward and should have too much for Zhejiang.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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