Reigning champions Shandong Taishan will square off against Dalian Pro at the Mission Hills Football Base Stadium on Sunday.
Shandong Taishan have made it three wins in a row as they secured a 3-1 win against Changchun Yatai in their previous outing. The game was headed for a stalemate but substitute Chen Pu scored an 87th-minute winner as they retained their second place in the standings.
Dalian Pro have just one win to their name this season. After avoiding defeat in their last two games, they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Hangzhou Greentown last time around.
This will be the last game of the first stage of the Chinese Super League for the two sides, so both teams will be looking to secure a win here.
Dalian Pro vs Shandong Taishan Head-to-Head
The two sides have locked horns 17 times across all competitions thus far. This will be the first meeting between the two sides since their FA Cup game in 2020.
The fixture has been closely contested, with Shandong Taishan having a narrow 8-7 lead in wins and just two games have ended in draws.
Dalian Pro form guide (all competitions): L-D-W-L-L
Shandong Taishan form guide (all competitions): W-W-W-L-W
Dalian Pro vs Shandong Taishan Team News
Dalian Pro did not report any injuries ahead of the game but will have to make one change to the starting XI from the previous match. Sun Guowen was sent off against Hangzhou and will serve a one-match suspension here.
Suspension: Sun Guowen.
Xinghan Wu and Jadson remain the two absentees for the Taishan Dui on account of injuries. There are no fresh injuries or suspension concerns for the reigning champions.
Injured: Xinghan Wu, Jadson.
Doubtful: Long Song.
Dalian Pro vs Shandong Taishan Predicted XIs
Dalian Pro (3-4-3): Jinshuai Wang (GK); Yanfeng Dong, Jiahui Huang, Xianjun Wang; Ting Zhu, Yu Fei, Lu Peng, Wei Wu ; Xiangchuang Yan, Liangming Lin, Yin Shang.
Shandong Taishan (3-5-2): Dalei Wang (GK); Ke Shi, Lin Dai, Tong Wang; Marouane Fellaini, Moises Lima, Joon-ho Son, Jingdao Jin, Tianyu Qi; Chen Pu, Cryzan.
Dalian Pro vs Shandong Taishan Prediction
Shandong Taishan have the second-best defensive record in the league, conceding seven goals in nine games thus far while Dalian Pro have conceded 16 goals.
Shandong also have the better goal-scoring record, outscoring their eastern rivals 16-9 in league fixtures. We are backing the reigning champions to eke out a narrow win here.
Prediction: Dalian Pro 1-2 Shandong Taishan