2024 Chinese Super League line-up as it currently stands Part 2

Chinese Super League

2023 is now firmly in the rearview mirror and it’s time to look ahead to the 2024 Chinese Super League line-up, as it currently stands.

As seen in Part 1, the picture for the 2024 domestic league season is already taking shape and teams are already returning to pre-season training in anticipation.

The future is always murky and unexpected in Chinese football, but these are the teams looking to contest the Chinese Super League in 2024, assuming they can all survive the long off-season and avoid any financial disasters as seen by some clubs in recent years.

Changchun Yatai

Changchun Yatai began the 2023 season in surprising form and looked as if they would threaten to finish in the top five courtesy of striker Leonardo’s superb form.

However, after seeing him leave and join Zhejiang on loan, results slumped and the club slipped into mid-table comfort. Their ninth-place finish improved in 2022, where they finished 13th, and Chen Yang’s future remains secure as long as he can keep the team comfortably in the Chinese Super league.

A serious push for the Chinese FA Cup should become more of an interest for the club if they have any hopes of being anything other than just another team in the league, and some serious recruiting will need to be done this off-season to ensure results can remain stable.


Spreading goals around the team helped Henan to finish 10th in 2023, with only Serbian striker Nemanja Covic netting double digits with 15 last season.

38 goals were scored by Henan in the league last time out, and putting the ball in the net more often will undoubtedly help Hu Baosen’s side to climb the league standings, with another mid-table finish the general expectation of the team in 2024.

Influential Polish midfielder Adrian Mierzejewski will not be back with the team next time out, so recruitment will be important to help strengthen the team as they look to maintain their firm standing in the Chinese top tier.

Meizhou Hakka

Meizhou have been largely solid since their debut season in the top tier, finishing ninth and 11th respectively in 2022 and 2023, but will need to work hard to avoid slipping further down the standings in 2024.

The team needs to find themselves a genuine target man this off-season, with their top goal scorer in 2023 being Tyrone Conraad with just seven goals in 15 appearances, two more than Rodrigo Henrique and Andrej Kotnik with five each.

Conraad and Kotnik arriving in the summer window helped Meizhou retain their CSL status last season and having a full season out of both players could go a long way to seeing them move further towards the middle of the pack this time out.

Cangzhou Mighty Lions

Of the teams who avoided relegation last season, Cangzhou had by far the worst goal differential at -31, scoring just 29 goals while shipping an astonishing 60 – the second-most conceded in the entire league.

The team has to address their lack of goalscoring and needs to tighten up an extremely leaky defence if they hope to retain their Chinese Super League status for another year.

They have finished 12th for the last two seasons, and 11th and 16th in the previous two campaigns, and if some real investment into the first-team squad isn’t made this off-season, it could be yet another difficult year for Cangzhou.

Qingdao Hainiu

In their first year back in the top tier, Qingdao Hainiu achieved their goal of avoiding relegation, although they were in and around the conversation for the majority of last season and only secured their 2024 fate by eight points.

Reaching the semi-finals of the Chinese FA Cup was a positive story for the team’s return to the top level, but the focus for next year must be to strengthen the squad and ensure they avoid falling into another relegation battle, showing progress in the meantime.

More goals would go a long way to helping Qingdao, whose joint top scorers each scored seven, and netting at least 40 next season will be seen as a step in the right direction for a club whose history includes CFA Cup and Super Cup success all the way back in 2002.

Nantong Zhiyun

Like Qingdao, Nantong Zhiyun achieved their sole goal of avoiding relegation in the 2023 season, securing their Chinese Super League future for the short term.

Surviving on the last day of the season, sitting two points above Dalian Professional when the final whistle blew, Nantong will be looking to build a squad that can put some distance between them and the bottom two in 2024.

Nantong secured 10 draws last season, so turning even a couple of those close-fought matches into wins can go a long way to securing their place in the Chinese Super League in 2025 and potentially beyond, with the right investment.

Sichuan Jiuniu

The first new face of the 2024 season comes in the form of 2023 China League One champions Sichuan Jiuniu, who have an interesting and uncertain future ahead of them.

Not only will they be looking to avoid relegation and secure top tier football beyond 2024, but reports indicate that the team will be looking to relocate to Shenzhen at some stage, whether that is done before the season begins or not is undetermined, with an expected rebranding of the team set to follow.

Sichuan won the CL1 title with a number of players with CSL experience, including the likes of defender Yu Rui, winger Zhou Dadi, and veteran midfielder Zhu Baojie. Their import players played a big role in securing the title, but new faces are still expected to arrive to help make the squad ready for their Super League debut.

Qingdao West Coast

The final team to be featured in the 2024 Chinese Super League season gives the league a Qingdao derby, with Qingdao West Coast having finished as runners-up in China League One in 2023.

Under the guidance of new head coach, Hasashi Kurosaki, West Coast will be keen to emulate their city rivals Hainiu, and maintain their status in the top tier by the end of the 2024 season.

Brazilian striker Raniel led the way with 15 goals last season, and they will be hoping he can continue his strong form and give them the very best chance at securing their short-term future in the league.

This concludes our mini-series looking at all 16 teams that are expected to compete in the 2024 Chinese Super League, although, as fans of the league should know, anything can happen between now and the expected opening day of March 1st, so stay tuned!