Preview: Canton Derby and Shanghai-Shandong in a potentially huge match week

Last week was a big week for Jiangsu Suning, whose 4-0 win lifted them out of the relegation zones, while Yanbian’s performance suggests that they are destined for the League One next campaign. At the top end of the table, the top went toe-to-toe but we did not get a winner in the highly anticipated clash.

This week we are treated to the Canton Derby and the matchup between Shandong Luneng and Shanghai Shenhua.

The first match of the match week sees Henan Jianye welcome a resurgent Beijing Guoan. Beijing are in buoyant form after three wins on the trot under new boss Schmidt. Henan will want to stop another in-form team after nicking a point off Tianjin Quanjian. For Henan to have any hope of stopping Beijing, they must find a way to stop the influential and in-form Johnathan Soriano. Soriano is scoring for fun and scored a brace in the previous match week in the China Derby.

The perfect opponents for Tianjin Quanjian to rediscover their winning form. After a shock draw last time around against Henan Jianye, Yanbian is the perfect fodder for new boy Anthony Modeste and Quanjian to get back to winning ways. With the top two clubs facing potentially difficult fixtures, Quanjian have a good opportunity to consolidate their third place in the league and close the gap on the runaway leaders. Yanbian are still very much alive in the relegation battle sitting just four points off 14th placed Jiangsu Suning. But their performances have been a different story. After tough luck earlier on, Yanbian have seemingly quit trying. Something has to change for the club and quickly as matches fly by.

Chongqing Lifan beat Tianjin TEDA 2-1 last time around while Jiangsu Suning picked up a much-needed morale boosting victory over Liaoning Whowin. Chongqing are going through a purple patch, winning their previous four fixtures. Jiangsu have stopped losing and started drawing. Last week saw them win 4-0 over Liaoning and they will need another huge performance to get another result.

The first Canton Derby was a hugely entertaining affair with chances galore for both sides. A comeback from R&F, then league leaders, to draw the match. But going into this game, Evergrande have restored order and lead the table. Scolari’s club have no room for error as Shanghai SIPG are breathing down Evergrande’s necks with just a point separating the sides. R&F sit seventh in the table and stopped a rut of three consecutive defeats last week with a win over Yanbian Funde. Renatinho and Eran Zahavi will be key for R&F while Paulinho and Ricardo Goulart will have a vital role to play. Any bets on Muriqui coming off the bench to score a late winner on his second coming?

Shanghai Shenhua thrashed Liaoning Whowin 8-1 three weeks ago and have been in freefall since. A draw followed by two defeats has forced the team to look over their shoulder at the relegation battle behind them. Any concerns can be eased with a win over Hebei China. Hebei are in a fix of their own as four defeats in the last five matches have seen Pelligrini’s side drop down to fifth place. Lavezzi remains in good form and will be key to Hebei China’s fortunes. Giovanni Moreno and Obafemi Martins will be key for the hosts Shanghai.

Liaoning Whowin are easily the worst team in the league on form. They have been dismal since May and have conceded an incredible 17 goals in their last 5 games. Whowin have the League’s leakiest defence and Changchun’s Odion Ighalo must be licking his lips at the prospect of facing the relegation threatened side. Changchun are in good form and their defeat last week was only their first in 5 matches. Changchun are favourites on both paper and form on the pitch.

Shanghai SIPG take on Shandong Luneng in one of the standout matches of the week. A point still separates SIPG from Guangzhou after last week’s stalemate. Shandong have been indifferent this season with the team at times being irresistible but poor on other occasions. Shanghai have hit a speed bump in recent weeks with a defeat and a draw in their last two outings. Shanghai have two wins out of their past three fixtures. The matchup could be very important in the context of the race for the last Champions League spot and of course where the title will end up at the end of the campaign.

The matchup between Guizhou Zhicheng and Tianjin TEDA has been postponed to 27th September 2017.

The first match between Henan Jianye and Beijing Guoan kicks off at 12:35 pm today.