Guangzhou Evergrande and Beijing Guoan are all set to square off against each other for the second leg of the Chinese Super League semi-finals.
The much-awaited game will take place on Monday at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Center.
The two teams played out a cautious stalemate in the first outing, with not much separating them as the match finished 0-0. Both sides had their goalkeepers to thank in a game defined by fine margins.
Guangzhou Evergrande's midfield quartet has lit up the CSL this season, illustrating how dynamic and lethal they can be with or without the ball. Their presence in the middle could mean this team spends a lot of time in possession.
Meanwhile, the Chinese capital side know how to combat such a high-intensity system, and they did so in the first leg. They are likely to rely on their dead-ball quality and counter-attacking prowess to try and win the game.
With both teams expected to cut loose and prioritize attack in the all-important second leg, we could have an absolute humdinger of a contest on the cards.
Guangzhou Evergrande vs Beijing Guoan Head-to-head
Records between these two giants underpin how evenly-matched they are. Although there hasn't been a period of superiority from either team, Guangzhou hold the upper hand over their fellow semifinalists.
They have won one-third of the 21 matches played against Beijing, while the latter have five victories under their belt. The 0-0 draw a few days ago was the ninth of its kind between Guangzhou Evergrande and Beijing Guoan.
Guangzhou Evergrande: D-W-W-W-L
Beijing Guoan: D-W-D-W-L
Guangzhou Evergrande vs Beijing Guoan Team News
Gao Zhunyi is the only notable name missing from Guangzhou Evergrande's team list. They should stick with their 4-1-4-1 shape, with the in-form Talisca leading the line.
Injured: Gao Zhunyi
Alan is ineligible to play against Guangzhou Evergrande due to contractual reasons. Cheng Piao remains sidelined for the long term, but otherwise, Beijing have a fully-fit squad ahead of this match.
Injuries: Cheng Piao
Guangzhou Evergrande vs Beijing Guoan: Probable XI
Guangzhou Evergrande Predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Liu Dianzuo; Zhang Linpeng, Mei Fang, Tyias Browning, Gao Zhunyi; Zou Zheng; Fernandinho, Zhang Ziuwei, Paulinho, Ai Kesen; Talisca
Beijing Guoan Predicted XI (4-3-1-2): Hou Sen; Li Lei, Yu Yang, Min-Jae Kim, Wang Gang; Chi Zhongguo, Fernando, Renato Augusto; Jonathan Viera; Zhang Yuning, Cedric Bakambu
Guangzhou Evergrande vs Beijing Guoan Prediction
The game plan will be charted out clearly from both teams. While Guangzhou Evergrande will aim at tearing the opposition down, their opponents are set to sit back, stay compact and express their quality on the counter.
Whether the two sides will manage to keep out a barrage of attacks once again, remains a question. Expect Guangzhou's incision in the final third to stand out this time around.
Prediction: Guangzhou Evergrande 2-1 Beijing Guoan
Published 31 Oct 2020, 20:48 IST