CSL Preview: Leaders Evergrande take on Beijing while strugglers must play top teams.

Tianjin Quanjian beat the mighty Guangzhou Evergrande last time out in a goal-ridden game of football, winning 4-3. This time they take on Evergrande’s city rivals Guangzhou R&F in two hours time. On their side, R&F lost to Chongqing Lifan last time and will be looking to get back on track and also keep Tianjin, who leapfrogged them by winning last time, behind them in the table once again.

The first game on Saturday is another episode in Yanbian Funde’s battle for survival. They host mid-table Chongqing Lifan, who as mentioned above, beat Guangzhou R&F last weekend. A win could see Yanbian take the step out of the relegation zone and would also mean they have won two matches in a row.

For the main round on Saturday there is a classic on the cards. Beijing Guoan host Guangzhou Evergrande. While Beijing might not be all that this season, a match between the two always comes with different terms and season form rarely matters. Evergrande slipped up last time out and will be looking to redeem themselves against this underperforming Guoan side.

Third-placed Hebei China Fortune play relegation threatened Henan Jianye and both teams are in need of a win for different reasons. Henan to stay afloat and Hebei to keep up somewhat up with Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG. Speaking of Shanghai

Shanghai Shenhua play bottom of the table Jiangsu Suning and Shenhua are unbeaten in their last three outings. Even with a Carlos Tevez who looks like he wants anything but to be on that pitch they should win this against a really poor Suning side.

The last match on Saturday sees Liaoning Whowin host newly promoted Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng in a match that means a lot. If Liaoning win they leapfrog Guizhou on the table and take a big step away from the relegation zone. If Guizhou win they can almost start thinking that they might be safe this season due to the sheer number of teams between them and the relegation zone, even if the distance in points isn’t that big.

On Sunday mid-table Changchun, who are in much the same situation as Guizhou if they win, are hosting Shanghai SIPG. Two draws and two wins from the last four is what Changchun has to show, while SIPG have three wins and a draw on their hands. Forever the second best this season, SIPG will hope that Evergrande have slipped up the day before so that they can sneak into the lead.

The final match this round sees Tianjin TEDA, just four points of relegation, take on Shandong Luneng, just four points of the final Champions League spot. An important match for both teams and while neither team are in awesome form, this match should go to Shandong.

About the Author

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