Both sides have lost their opening two games so far and face a tough path ahead in keeping their qualification hopes alive.
The Dragon's Team, who last played at the showpiece in 2002, were humbled 3-0 by Australia in their first game of the final round before going down 1-0 to Japan.
Vietnam, meanwhile, booked their place in next year's Asia Cup in China by coming second in their group in the last round. However, they now face an uphill battle for the Qatar showpiece.
Back-to-back losses to Saudi Arabia and Australia have left them without a point going into this month's qualifiers. Another setback would virtually end their hopes of even making it into the fourth round.
China vs Vietnam Head-To-Head
There have been only six previous clashes between the sides, with China winning all of them to keep a 100% record against Vietnam.
Their last encounter came in June 2012 in a friendly in which the Dragon's Team won 3-0.
China Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-L-L
Vietnam Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-L-L-L
China vs Vietnam Team News
Li Tie has called up a huge squad, with prolific scorer Wu Lei the only foreign-based player.
The Espanyol forward flew in straight from Spain after his side's shock 2-1 defeat of Real Madrid.
He was their top scorer in the second round with eight goals, behind only UAE's Ali Mabkhout and Japanese star Takumi Minamino. But Lei is yet to open his account for the final round.
Head coach Park Hang-seo has called up a 27-man squad for this month's double-header against China and Oman.
Experienced midfielder Que Ngoc Hai will once again captain the side, while 23-year-old forward Pham Tuan Hai is gunning for his first cap.
However, the side were hit with injury concerns recently as midfield duo Nguyen Trong Huang and Tran Minh Voung both withdrew from the squad.
Injured: Nguyen Trong Huang and Tran Minh Voung
China vs Vietnam Predicted XI
China (4-3-3): Yan Junling; Wang Shenchao, Li Lei, Zhang Linpeng, Wang Gang; Yin Hongbo, Wu Xi, Jin Jingdao; Wu Lei, Elkeson, Alan.
Vietnam (4-4-2): Tran Nguyen Manh; Que Ngoc Hai, Bui Tieng Dung, Nguyen Thanh Chung, Nguyen Phong Hong Duy; Nguyen Hoang Duc, Nguyen Trong Hoang, Nguyen Tuan Anh, Nguyen Quang Hai; Nguyen Van Toan, Nguyen Tien Linh.
China vs Vietnam Prediction
Both sides have lost their last few games and are desperate to return to winning ways. Also, since the match will be played at a neutral venue, it's hard to predict a clear winner.
However, Vietnam's defense has looked shaky in the last few games, and the Dragon's Team might make a meal of it. We predict a narrow win for China.
Prediction: China 2-1 Vietnam