GZ City finished in the top 10 last season – seventh out of 16 teams – but have been sluggish so far in the new campaign. They are currently in the red zone in the 16th spot.
At home, the Blue Lions will hope to return to winning ways after two consecutive defeats in the domestic top flight. However, the opponents are no small potatoes. Shandong are the defending champions who are, interestingly, struggling to get their campaign off the ground as well.
Shandong Taishan had a perfect season last year, winning their fourth Chinese Super League title and a seventh Chinese FA Cup. They have recorded one victory and a loss so far and are in the 10th spot.
Taishan Du are conscious of the fact that they are a team to beat in the new season. Every match is to be considered as a “final”, according to coach Hao Wei. They lost on the road on Wednesday against Henan. Another away defeat within a week is “unthinkable”, says Wei.
Guangzhou City need to be at their best if they are to edge past Shandong Taishan, who are also in need of full points to set their campaign in motion.
Guangzhou City vs Shandong TaiShan Head-to-Head
In their last five meetings, Shandong Taishan prevailed twice while three matches ended in stalemates. The last time GZ City defeated Shandong was in April 2016. Their best results over Taishan Du since that victory have been draws.
Guangzhou City form guide (all competitions): L-L-D-D-L
Shandong Taishan form guide (all competitions): L-W-L-L-L
Guangzhou City vs Shandong TaiShan Team News
Right-back Miao Tang is still undergoing treatment for a torn meniscus while attacking midfielder Chugui Ye suffered a cruciate ligament rupture. Both players will not play a part in the upcoming fixture, according to the club’s management.
Injury: Miao Tang and Chugui Ye.
Left winger Xinghan Wu is healing from knee problems while defenders Zheng Zheng and Shi Ke face suspensions for red cards.
Injury: Xinghan Wu.
Suspension: Zheng Zheng and Shi Ke.
Guangzhou City vs Shandong TaiShan Predicted Xls
Guangzhou City (4-3-3): Cheng Yuelei (GK), Zhang Jinliang, Jiang Jihong, Yi Teng, Li Tixiang, Zhang Gong, Huang Zhengyu, Chengru Wu, Chun Lok Tan, Jin Bo, Chen Zhizhao
Shandong TaiShan (4-4-2): Wang Dalei (GK), Wang Tong, Jadson, Lin Dai, Song Long, Jin Jingdao, Moises, Son Jun-Ho, Liu Binbin, Liao Lisheng, Lui Yang
Guangzhou City vs Shandong TaiShan Prediction
GZ City face an uphill battle against Shandong, who are no strangers to Yuexiushan Stadium in Guangzhou. Taishan Du have been successful at the venue countless times. In fact, three of their last five wins over Guangzhou City took place at the ground.
Shandong TaiShan are expected to pull off a win or force the hosts into a stalemate. However, with players from the visiting team earning red cards of late due to indiscipline, such an event could alter the outcome.
Prediction: Guangzhou City 1-2 Shandong TaiShan