Cup football returns to China in midweek giving us a much-needed breather from the frenetic action in the Super League. Four teams remain in the premier cup competition in China and while some of the best teams in the country are part of the draw, a cup competition without an underdog is no Cup competition.
Shanghai Shenhua V Shanghai Shenxin, 15th August 12:35 BST
Shenxin’s journey so far:
Second Round: Nantong Zhiyun 1-2 Shenxin
Third Round: Shenxin 5-3 Guizhou
Fourth Round: Hangzhou Greentown 1(5)-(6)1 Shenxin (penalties)
Fifth Round: Jiangsu Suning 3-4 Shenxin
Shenhua’s journey so far:
Third Round: Yunnan Lijiang 0-3 Shenhua
Fourth Round: Shenhua 1-0 Beijing Guoan
Fifth Round: Shenhua 3-1 Shandong Luneng
A Shanghai Derby to look forward to. Minnows Shanghai Shenxin are the story of the competition so far having knocked out the runners-up of the league last season Jiangsu Suning over two legs. It was a memorable tie for the side from the China League who entered the competition in the Second Round. Shenxin’s journey has claimed two super club teams and the question going into the tie is whether Shenhua can become the third team from the top flight to bite the dust.
Shanghai Shenhua have had a relatively straight forward run into the semi-final with the highlight being the 1-0 China Derby victory over Beijing Guoan. Shenhua have the firepower but will their defence hold against the likes of Biro Biro is the question to be answered. A cracking fixture on the cards and amazing to watch for the neutrals. Shenhua know that Shenxin will be no pushovers.
Shanghai SIPG V Guangzhou Evergrande, 16th August 12:35 BST
Shanghai’ journey so far:
Third Round: Shijiazhuang Ever Bright 0-2 Shanghai
Fourth Round: Shanghai 1-1 Suzhou 1(14)-(15)1 Shanghai (penalties)
Fifth Round: Shanghai 4-3 Tianjin Quanjian
Guangzhou’s journey so far:
Third Round: Meizhou Meixian Techand 1-2 Guangzhou
Fourth Round: Guangzhou 1-0 Hebei China
Fifth Round: Guangzhou 9-6 Guangzhou R&F
The journey of both these teams has been dramatic and eventful. The never-ending penalty shootout in the fourth round and Evergrande’s epic comeback against R&F have been among the highlights of their season’s FA Cup.
Both teams are bitter rivals and are currently locked in a title race in the CSL that is sure to go down to the wire. The sides also face each other in the AFC Champions League later this month. Paulinho’s availability in the fixture is still undecided and it all hinges on whether the player finally completes a dream move to Barcelona.
With or without Paulinho there is no doubt that Evergrande are favourites on recent form. The defending champions would love to take something back to the Tianhe Stadium ahead of the second leg. Another cracking fixture on the cards.
It will be an entertaining week for the neutrals as the FA Cup provides us with a David-versus-Goliath clash and a Clash of the Titans.
Second legs take place over a month later.