A Relegation Six Pointer, An Away Banker & Much, Much More

Chinese Super League Preview

GOOD AFTERNOON. Yes, I’m fully aware that caps lock is on, I was just trying to get your attention and hopefully, that should have worked. Last time I was over in this neck of the woods, I analysed China’s collapse against the Czech Republic and I made a comment at the end of the article that I didn’t have a clue what I’d be doing next. Well, here I am!

This time, I’m going to be bringing you the preview of all the weekend’s action, so strap in and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.

All Kickoff Times Are Based On You Reading From The UK

In case your new to this CSL malarkey, which I am, the games are spread over three days and those are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Nice and simple to begin with. If you haven’t managed to keep up so far, go to bed and try again tomorrow.

We begin in Beijing with a 12:35 kickoff between Beijing Guoan and Tianjin Teda tomorrow (Friday). I’ll be straight up with you because I’m a decent sorta guy and say Tianjin are abysmal away from home. In their last sixteen away games, they’ve managed to win twice and draw thrice. So, if my math is correct and I’d like to think it is, that puts them on the losing side eleven times out of the last sixteen games on their travels.

Now, there are a couple of friendlies in there which you could argue shouldn’t be counted, but when one of their wins is away at an amateur side in the FA Cup, I think I’m within my right to do just that. Their other win was actually a league game; that came at Shanghai Shenhua last season and was courtesy of a 91st-minute goal from Mbaye Diagne.

Only Five Losses Out Of Twenty

In contrast, Beijing Guoan are solid at home as they’ve only lost five out of their last twenty so this game should really only be going one away and it’s not that of the away side. Most recently, Beijing Guoan saw off neighbours Beijing Renhe with ease at home, coming out four-nil winners and you have to feel that more of the same is going to be on the cards.

Our second 12:35 kickoff that is going on tomorrow isn’t as easy to call; Guangzhou R&F host Jiangsu Suning in a clash where one thing and one thing only is guaranteed. Goals. So far this season, Guangzhou’s four games have had twenty-one goals and Jiangsu’s have had fifteen, so when it is 0-0 tomorrow, I will take full responsibility.

Last season when the two sides met in Guangzhou it was raining goals which is a somewhat of a good omen; Guangzhou came out 4-2 victors in the end, however, it was Jiangsu that took the lead as early as the third minute when Roger Martinez got his first of the afternoon. In between the time it took for him to get his second, Guangzhou managed to score four goals with four shots on target. Gu Chao, who is still in goal for Jiangsu this season, must have had holes in his hands because that is an atrocious stat to have against you.

We’re now moving on to Saturday’s games. Are you still awake? Fair play if you are. I’m joking, of course, this is riveting stuff.

Set Your Alarm For Saturday Morning

If you’re planning on having a late on tomorrow (Friday) night, make sure you set your alarm for 8:15. That will give you enough time to make a brew and get ready for Dalian Yifang vs Chongqing Lifan which kicks off at 8:30 on Saturday morning. Before you ask, yes Dalian are the side which got spanked on the opening day after signing Carrasco and Gaitan from Atletico Madrid. Let’s give that some context first, shall we?

Dalian Yifang were only promoted last season and they were up against one of, if not the best team in China, but hey because they spent ‘loads of money’ on Carrasco let’s blow things out of proportion. Anyway, Dalian are now unbeaten in one which is progress, moving up in the world. In the away corner, Chongqing Lifan blow hot and cold and the good news for you Dalian Yifang fans out there is that they blow cold away from home. A lot. From their last eight away games, they’ve picked up a solitary draw and that’s it. Is this Dalian’s big chance? I’d say so.

You’ve got a bit of a breather after that Dalian game as the next one doesn’t kickoff until 12:35. Changchun Yatai are away at Hebei in a game that can probably be best described with a shrug of the shoulders. They’ve only won one game between them so far this season which I’m hoping will mean that we could end up with an outrageous 5-4 scoreline or something along those lines, nonetheless, I’m much more fearful that they will both cancel each other out and we’ll end with a 0-0. That’s exactly what happened the last time the sides met and there was the grand total of four shots on target throughout the game. Oh, joy.

Saturday is now done and dusted. Now for Sunday, which is where the majority of the games lie.

Obafemi Martins Is Still Knocking About

It’s another early start as Beijing Renhe entertain Shanghai Shenhua at 8:30. Bloody time differences. Here’s something you may not know, I know I didn’t anyway. Obafemi Martins plays for Shanghai. Here’s something you definitely won’t know. He’s only THIRTY-THREE. I’m not sure how that’s humanly possible as I’m 99% sure he played in the 1970 World Cup, although that could be a figment of my imagination. Disclaimer: it is.

We’ll begin with the away side considering we’re already talking about them; after a rocky start, they’ve picked up and despite throwing away a two-goal lead in the week against Kashima in the Champions League, I really do fancy them to do the business against a newly promoted Beijing side.

This marks the first time Beijing have played at home since October last year and when they did play at home, they were actually pretty good. In the Jia League, they won their last six of the season on home soil which is what made all the difference as they finished runners-up behind Dalian Yifang. A tough one to call. I’m going away win.

Too Early For A Six-Pointer?

We’re at 12:35 again as Guizhou Zhicheng and Tianjin Quanjian face-off against one another in what some are describing as a relegation six-pointer. I say some, I mean me. Guizhou finally got off the mark last week with an impressive away win at Shandong Luneng and they’ve got the wonderfully named Steve to thank for that as he got the goal after thirty minutes. Yes, it was followed up with another goal in the second-half but let’s take a moment to appreciate the wonder of Steve.

Tianjin, on the other hand, started brilliantly with a 4-0 win on the opening day and then have seemingly got distracted by their Champions League campaign. Mental really, they sit second in their group of four, yet, they sit fourth bottom in the CSL. Guizhou have won the last four meetings when they’ve played at home and if they can get an early goal and something to hold on to, it’s hard to look further than that becoming win number five.

Another game, another 12:35 kickoff. We’ve gone from a relegation six-pointer to a top of the table clash as reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande play host to Shandong Luneng in a game where to simply put it, something’s gotta give. Guangzhou lost an incredible nine-goal thriller to their local rivals on the opening day, since then, they’ve been on fire and I would be saying they’ve won every game in every competition had they not conceded in the 92nd minute in the Champions League at Buriram in their latest game.

Shandong Could Have Their Work Cut Out

On the other side of the coin, Shandong had won every game this season up until last week when the aforementioned Steve ruined their fun. Something worth noting, out of their last twenty games, seven of those have been draws, so don’t be shocked if you see a scoreline as level as it was at the start at the end. Saying that, Shandong have a horrific record in Guangzhou as their only win to date was on penalties in the cup. Food for thought.

We close with one final 12:35 as the only team remaining with a 100% record, Shanghai SIPG are away to Henan Jianye and if the form book is anything to go by, this game is only going to finish one way. Henan are the definition of a mixed bag as they’ve drawn one, won one and lost two so far this season whereas Shanghai have only failed to win twice out of their last twelve which is an astounding record, to say the least. In case you’re wondering, the two that they didn’t win were draws, so Henan are going to have their work cut out.

Shanghai have won the last three meetings between the two with an aggregate scoreline of 13-3 so we could have a good old fashioned pasting on our hands on Sunday. They’ve also got the best offensive and defensive record in the league so it could be a case of ‘how many’ for Shanghai as opposed to who is going to win. All in all, I think this is this most clear-cut game of the weekend.

In Closing…

In summary, we’ve got eight games this weekend and I think we’ll have at least one 0-0, one game with over six goals and a result that makes everybody go, “how the hell did that happen”. That’s all from me, I’m sure we’ll meet again, I’m not sure when or where, so be good, be safe, be whatever you wanna be.

Until the next time.  

About the Author

Jake Flock
Football and writing are my two biggest passions, so seems right to combine the pair, don't you think? Doing a bit of moonlighting over here. My main playground is down the road at: http://www.indiansuperleague.uk where we cover another Super League, namely the Indian one. See you over there.