CSL Matchday 30 Preview: It’s the final countdown

This is it then. The final day of a long and entertaining Super League season. The third place will be decided, as will the Champions League spot, and everything else basically.

Let’s look at the all-important Champions League ties then.

Tianjin Quanjian travel to winners Guangzhou Evergrande, who lost last time out, and could very well do so again. With only one point separating Tianjin and Hebei China Fortune, who play Shandong Luneng, this is no time for any of them to let their guard down. Shandong will be hoping to spoil the party for Hebei, much like they got their own spoiled last time, and will not be an easy opponent.

In the background lurks Guangzhou R&F, ready to pounce should Tianjin lose to Guangzhou. They play mid-table Chongqing Lifan and R&F could leapfrog Tianjin if they win. Despite being three points behind Hebei they can’t bypass them as Hebei have the superior head-to-head record, so R&F will have to jump Quanjian and hope for Shanghai SIPG to win the cup if they want a Champions League spot.

Speaking of Shanghai SIPG, they play Jiangsu Suning at the Shanghai Stadium. A win could see Suning jump a few places up the table in this very disappointing season while SIPG would want a win to go into the Cup Final with the best possible form.

As for other matches this round, Beijing Guoan and Changchun Yatai battle it out for eighth place, with a win for either team could also see them leapfrog Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng who play Yanbian Funde. Yanbian would want to give their supporters a final hoorah before going down as well as avoid the shame of ending last in the league. A win would assure that.

Not ending last is also what Liaoning Whowin will be trying to do. They play Shanghai Shenhua, who will, like their city-rivals, be looking to go into the Cup Final in the best possible form. A match neither team would want to lose, this one.

The final match of this round sees Tianjin TEDA play Henan Jianye. TEDA could leapfrog Henan while Henan could pass Shanghai Shenhua to finish 11th with a win. They could potentially fall down to 13th place, where TEDA currently sit.

All matches kick off at 7 UK time tomorrow morning.

About the Author

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