I’m sure that fans of the Chinese Super League would have been craving for more action as soon as possible after the last game threw up some major shocks. Seven-time Champions Guangzhou Evergrande suffered an emphatic 3-0 reverse at the hands of the still-feeling-the-league-out Dalian Yifang. The seemingly unbeatable Shanghai SIPG too suffered their second reverse of the season at the hand of the inform Beijing Guoan in the China Derby.
And this week’s games kickoff with the other team from Guangzhou R&F travelling to the capital city to face off against the League. Unbeaten since the opening gameweek, boss Roger Schmidt’s style of play seems to be finally rubbing off the players as they have notched up 7 wins in their last three games. R&F aren’t doing that badly themselves as they sit pretty in the upper half of the table just three points of their Beijing and the last Champions League spot. Promises to be an exciting encounter to kick off the game. Both teams are on a four-game winning streak. Goals can be expected in this game as it’s been 4 games since Beijing kept a clean sheet in this fixture while R&F are without one in 5 games.
The matchup between Tianjin TEDA and Changchun Yatai proves to be an intriguing one as despite being separated by 4 teams in the table, they are just one point off each other. The teams have a defence-sieve setup with a combined 27 goals conceded in this seasons CSL. TEDA are without a clean sheet in 14 games, a run that stretches into the last season.
It’s been a strange season for perennial champions Evergrande as they have had a stop-start season so far. But it looks like the perfect game for Cannavaro’s men to bounce back. Hebei at home has been a good game for the men from Guangzhou with two 2-0 wins in the previous two seasons. But Hebei is no pushover and the last saw them secure a 3-0 win and delay the title march. Guangzhou is winless in 3 and is out of the Champions League places. The pressure is building on Cannavaro.
Defeat in the last game for league leaders Shanghai SIPG raised a few eyebrows. Then the way they were run over by Kashima Antlers in midweek raised some more. But what better way to bounce back than a visit to the basement club of the League. Fun fact: Shanghai have scored the same number of goals this season that Guizhou has conceded. That number stands at 24. Hulk, Oscar and Lei Wu would be licking their lips at the chance to go toe to toe against the worst defence in the League this season.
Dalian who recorded their first win of the season, surprisingly against the defending champions travel to Jiangsu Sunning on Sunday in their game. Jiangsu sits pretty two points off third place but would be wary of Dalian especially after their performance last season. Time to build momentum for the big spenders of this summer.
Tianjin Quanjian has not performed to the level they were expected to hit this season. They sit in only 11th place and are even behind their city rivals TEDA. But despite this, they have the firepower and quality to take on any given squad in China on their day. Things took a turn for the better last weekend after two consecutive defeats and a draw against Evergrande in the Champions League is an impressive achievement. Another win is a must for the Quanjian and they pin their hopes on Anthony Modeste who has 5 goals in the League so far. But they take on a Shandong Luneng team which has clicked to perfection this campaign. Defensively the best in the league so far and Diego Tardelli playing the way he is, it is not surprising that they are behind SIPG only on goal difference. Luneng favourites but Quanjian have what it takes to cause an upset.
The ‘other’ team from Shanghai, Shenhua welcome Chongqing SWM on Saturday. After three consecutive stalemates, this fixture deserves a winner this time around. The last winner of this matchup was Shenhua almost two years back on the 22nd of May 2016. History does not augur well for Chongqing as they have just a single win from 10 league games against Shenhua.
The final game of the weekend sees Henan Jianye welcome Beijing Renhe on Sunday. Henan is desperate for a win but have the worst attack in the League. They have scored just 5 goals all season. Now, take a guess as to which team has the second worst attack in the league. Bingo! It’s Renhe with 6 goals. Everything points to a lacklustre 0-0 draw but let me remind you, this is the Chinese Super League. Things that happen here don’t happen in many other leagues in the world. Example: Promoted side beating seven-time defending Champions Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 for their first win of the season.
It’s an exciting round of games and I can only say one thing to you: Happy watching!