Chinese Super League Round 9: Previews and predictions


Yes, another few days have passed and we’re ready for a new round of fixtures. The last round saw all of the matches in the Suzhou bubble postponed due to the typhoon in eastern China and we could well see a repeat of this again on Wednesday.

The matches in the Guangzhou bubble did go ahead however and showed us how difficult it’s going to be to predict what is going to happen in the league in the coming weeks. With many team’s chopping and changing their line-ups and strategically resting key players as they tried mange the intense fixture list.

Although it’s going to be difficult to predict what’s going to happen in the CSL from now until the next international break, we’re going to do our best. So now let’s have a look at all the games slated for round 9 of the Chinese Super League.

Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic v Guangzhou City

Tuesday, 27th July

Huadu Stadium, Guangzhou

Chongqing lost 3-1 to Shandong Taishan on Saturday, in what was their fourth consecutive defeat. They’ll face another tough encounter this Tuesday as they come up against an in form Guangzhou City.

City managed an impressive 3-3 draw in the Guangzhou Derby at the weekend, despite heavily rotating their squad. They played some really impressive attacking football and with key players now sufficiently rested, they should have too much attacking firepower for Chongqing to handle.

One to watch – Guilherme – Made an immediate impact from the bench at the weekend and will likely start against Chongqing as City chase a win.

Prediction – City outclass Chongqing in a 3-1 win.

Qingdao v Shenzhen

Tuesday, 27th July

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center Central Stadium, Guangzhou

Qingdao have been woeful since the CSL restarted and Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Cangzhou marks them out as real contenders for the relegation play-offs. Shenzhen by contrast, have continued to play well since the restart. But looked a little too pleased to settle for a draw again Henan in their last match.

That being said the low tempo of the Henan game should have helped Shenzhen’s squad guard against fatigue, which is becoming more and more important given the league’s hectic schedule. If they can play with a little more urgency than they did against Henan then they should have no problem taking all three points.

One to watch – Alan Kardec – Shenzhen’s top scorer was rested against Henan but should be back for Tuesday’s game.

Prediction – 3-0, Shenzhen simply too good for a beleaguered Qingdao.

Guangzhou v Shandong Taishan

Tuesday, 27th July

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center Central Stadium, Guangzhou

This round’s heavyweight clash sees the Chinese Super League’s eight-time champions face off against unbeaten Shandong.

Guangzhou were badly exposed defensively in Saturday’s Guangzhou Derby and it will be interesting to see if Shandong are able to open them up in same way.

Taishan are currently without any big name foreign attacking players. However young striker Guo Tianyu is quickly emerging as one of the country’s top young talents and naturalised playmaker Pedro Delgado impressed last weekend in his second CSL appearance. This match will give them a real chance to prove that they can perform in the big games and really mark themselves out as future stars of the league.

One to watch – Guo Tianyu – A big performance in a big game like this will help press his case for inclusion in the national team squad.

Prediction – A pulsating 2-2 draw.

Henan Songshan Longmen v Cangzhou

Tuesday, 27th July

Yuexiushan Stadium, Guangzhou

Two teams that have looked significantly better since the league restarted meet at one of China’s most historic stadiums for one of round’s most intriguing fixtures.

Cangzhou come into this game on a high after getting their first win of the season at the weekend against struggling Qingdao. Whilst Henan come in off the back off a 0-0 draw with Shenzhen, where they rationed the playing time of their Brazilian forwards and generally seemed very keen to avoid over exerting themselves.

With such a short break between fixtures now, Henan’s ability to manage energy expenditure at the weekend may give them the edge against Cangzhou. These two teams are very evenly matched however and there’s not going to be much to choose between them.

One to watch – Fernando Karanga – Played only half an hour against Shenzhen and should be fresh and ready to go against Cangzhou.

Prediction – 1-1 neither side do quite enough to claim a win.

Beijing Guoan v Shanghai Port

Wednesday, 28th July

Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre, Suzhou

Beijing Guoan haven’t been great this season and the club’s hierarchy now seem happy enough to allow Slaven Bilic to use this year to try out different tactics and personnel.

This approach doesn’t exactly bode well for their competitiveness against the Chinese Super League’s top teams though. While Shanghai Port haven’t looked great since the restart, they should have enough in the tank to see off Guoan on Wednesday evening.

One to watch – Oscar – The CSL’s biggest name continues to shine.

Prediction – A convincing 2-0 win for Port.

Hebei v Dalian Pro

Wednesday, 28th July

Kunshan Stadium, Kunshan

Dalian go into this game as obvious underdogs and will likely sit back and try to hit Hebei on the break. Emmanuel Boateng should finally return to the starting line-up for this match and if he can last a full ninety minutes then Pro should be able to offer a decent level of threat when counter-attacking.

Hebei however should really still be too good for Dalian though. When the two clubs met earlier in the season it took a late Marcao penalty for Hebei to seal the win. Sadly for Hebei, Marcao is no longer with the club but they should still take all three points.

One to watch – Emmanuel Boateng – Will be Pro’s key man if he returns to the starting eleven.

Prediction – Hebei get their fourth win of the season with a 1-0 win.

Tianjin Tiger v Changchun Yatai

Wednesday, 28th July

Jiangyin Stadium, Jiangyin

Tiger battled their way to a 0-0 draw when these two met in the second round of the season and Changchun will no doubt be desperate to avoid another stalemate. They will almost certainly switch from the 5-4-1 formation they used against Guoan to their usual 3-4-3 formation with Tan Long, Junior Negrao and Erik most likely to lead the line.

It’s worth noting though that these three haven’t performed at quite the level that many expected them to prior to the start of the season. So we could see some different personnel lining up up-front or substitutions being made if Tianjin are able to keep Yatai at bay well into the second-half.

Tianjin will now doubt defend doggedly and put a lot of men behind the ball but Yatai should have enough quality to get the three points.

One to watch – Tan Long – Got his first goal of the season against Guoan and will be looking to add to his tally against Tiger.

Prediction – Changchun made to work hard for a 1-0 win.

Shanghai Shenhua v Wuhan

Wednesday, 28th July

Kunshan Stadium, Kunshan

Shanghai Shenhua invested heavily in aging veterans this off-season and this transfer strategy seems to have largely worked with Shenhua exceeding almost everyone’s expectations so far this year.

Wuhan have made a poor start to the year and now seem to have taken a leaf out Shenhua’s book by signing 34 year old Wuhan native Hao Junmin. Wuhan will be hopeful that Hao will provide some much needed steel to a Wuhan midfield which has looked very lightweight this year. It’s worth noting though that he’s barely played this year and so is unlikely to be ready to make too much of an impact against Shenhua.

Wuhan’s second newest signing, striker Anderson Lopes may have however be someone who can give Wuhan a decent chance of springing a surprise on Wednesday night. The 27 year old Brazilian striker, hasn’t looked too settled in his first two appearances but he’s a proven goalscorer in East Asia and if he can find his shooting boots against Shenhua Wuhan could have a real chance at getting something from the game.

One to watch – Anderson Lopes – It’s time for Wuhan’s big signing to deliver.

Prediction – 1-1, a significantly improved Wuhan take a well earned point.


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