China v Colombia Preview: China try to regroup against South American giants

Kick-off: Tuesday 11.35am UK Time

After losing 2-0 to Serbia on Friday, after goals from Adem Ljajic and Aleksandar Mitrovic, China has to try and show a bit more against what is arguably a better opposition.

The Colombians managed to qualify for the 2018 Russia World Cup on the final day as a draw saw them go through automatically while the team on the other half, Peru, managed to sneak in to the Playoff spot to face New Zealand, meaning Chile would be left at home come next summer.

This is a Colombia without some of their biggest stars. There is no Falcao, no James Rodriguez or Juan Cuadrado and no David Ospina at the back for Los Cafeteros.

But fear not, this side still has plenty of quality in it. Names they have included are Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez, strikers Carlos Bacca and Duvan Zapata as well as highly talented centre-back Eder Alvarez Balanta. There is also one player who plays in the CSL in the Colombian squad with Shanghai Shenhua’s playmaker Giovanni Moreno included, while Shenhua’s other Colombian, Fredy Guarin has not been found worthy of a call-up, extending his absence from the national team where he has not been called up since 2015.

Colombia played South Korea on Friday in Seoul and lost 2-1 after a Heung-min Son brace. Centre-back Cristian Zapata scored for Colombia.

The South Korea result show that there’s definitely hope for a similar outcome for China and for all the goodwill he has in the nation, Marcello Lippi could really use a win, or at least a good showing, against the South Americans.

The poor end to the World Cup qualifiers is still painful and you are only as good as your last results in the cut-throat world of football management, and while a loss against two World Cup-bound teams are not necessarily horrible, it could give the team a good boost before the EAFF Championship next month should they win. Not to mention it could make the 2019 Asian Cup matches in January either a little less important or more so, for Lippi’s continued China involvement.

The match kicks off in Chongqing at 11:30 UK time tomorrow.

China’s Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Zeng Cheng (Guangzhou Evergrande), Wang Dalei (Shandong Luneng), Yan Junling (Shanghai SIPG).

Defenders:

Feng Xiaoting (Guangzhou Evergrande), Zhang Linpeng (Guangzhou Evergrande), Li Xuepeng (Guangzhou Evergrande), Jiang Zhipeng (Guangzhou R&F), Ren Hang (Hebei China Fortune), Zheng Zheng (Shandong Luneng), Wang Shenchao (Shanghai SIPG), Fu Huah (Shanghai SIPG), He Guan (Shanghai SIPG).

Midfielders:

Zhang Xizhe (Beijing Guoan), Yu Hanchao (Guangzhou Evergrande), Yin Hongbo (Hebei China Fortune), Zhao Yuhao (Hebei China Fortune), Wu Xi (Jiangsu Suning), Hao Junmin (Shandong Luneng), Zhao Xuri (Tianjin Quanjian).

Forwards:

Yu Dabao (Beijing Guoan), Gao Lin (Guangzhou Evergrande), Xiao Zhi (Guangzhou R&F), Wu Lei (Shanghai SIPG).

About the Author

Ola Bjerkevoll
Norwegian studying sports journalism in England. Lover of all football, especially Chinese, German and Oceanian. Twitter: @olabje