Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Chinese Super League clash between Shenzhen and Shandong Taishan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The away side, on the other hand, will be seeking to snap a two-game winless run and get their title challenge back on track heading into the second half of the campaign.
Shenzhen picked up a first win in six league outings as they emphatically bested Wuhan FC 3-0 at the Wuhan Sports Centre on Tuesday.
Consequently, The Youth Army have moved up to 12th place in the standings, opening up an eight-point gap over the relegation zone in the process.
Lying in store next is the challenge of an opposing outfit yet to suffer defeat in any of the last 13 meetings between the teams since 2009.
Currently on a mixed run of form on home turf with the last six home involvements yielding three wins and as many losses, Saturday’s hosts will be keen to attain stability in front of their fans starting with this weekend’s contest.
Shandong Taishan were involved in a share of the spoils for the first time this season following a 1-1 draw against Wuhan Three Towns at the Jinan Olympic Sports Center Stadium on Wednesday.
With 40 points from 17 games so far, The Team of Mount Tai are second in the Chinese Super League table, seven points off the top of the pile.
Off the back of a first away defeat in seven matches in their most recent affair on the road, Saturday’s visitors set out to secure a return to winning ways.
Shenzhen competition form:
Shenzhen form (all competitions):
Shandong Taishan competition form:
Shandong Taishan form (all competitions):
Shenzhen’s Romain Alessandrini continues to battle with a fractured rib which has kept him out of action since the middle of August.
Wai-Tsun Dai had to make do with a place on the bench last time out and the 23-year-old will be expected to return to the XI for this one.
Xinghan Wu is still sidelined with a long-term injury as the midfielder awaits his first outing for Shandong Taishan since the turn of the year.
The away side are also set to be without the services of Jun-Ho Son who is currently on duty with the South Korean national team.
Shenzhen possible starting lineup:
Dong; Mi, Lim, Pei, Yuan, Shinar; Zheng, Li, Zhang, Jiang; Acheampong
Shandong Taishan possible starting lineup:
Wang; Ji, Shi, Zheng, Song; Moises, Jadson, Fellaini; Crysan, Guo, Jin
We say: Shenzhen 0-2 Shandong Taishan
Shenzhen have been defensively frugal to a large extent on their own turf this term but this has often come at the expense of being toothless at the other end. Shandong, meanwhile, have found the back of the bet in all but one of their away matches so far and we are backing them to get the job done here.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.