In what has beautifully shaped up as a potential thriller of a contest, Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande lock horns with Jiangsu Suning at the Dalian Sports Centre Stadium tomorrow.
The CSL heavyweights have picked up from exactly where they left off last season, accumulating 12 points from their opening five league matches. Their promising start to the season comprises of four wins and a loss.
More significantly, Guangzhou Evergrande have been the most prolific team across the division with a league-high 13 goals scored. While they have humiliated teams on their way so far, Evergrande are also the best defensive unit in the competition as they have only let in three goals.
It'll be a litmus test for Jiangsu Suning, who despite having recorded 10 points, head into this fixture on the back of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Shanghai Shenhua.
They'll have to counter Evergrande's possession-based football with quick passing, fruitful attacking on the break and some attentive defending. Jiangsu Suning will be invited to press, but it'll be interesting to see if they opt for a more aggressive approach against the CSL giants.
On that note, we bring all you need to know ahead of Guangzhou Evergrande's crucial Chinese Super League match-up against Jiangsu Suning.
Guangzhou Evergrande v Jiangsu Suning: Head-to-head
Guangzhou Evergrande wins: 14
Jiangsu Suning wins: 4
Guangzhou Evergrande v Jiangsu Suning: Form Guide
Guangzhou Evergrande: W-L-W-W-W
Jiangsu Suning: L-W-W-D-W
Guangzhou Evergrande v Jiangsu Suning: Team News
Italian boss Fabio Cannavaro has a fully fit squad at his disposal, as Guangzhou Evergrande push for a return to the top spot. There are no suspensions in this team either.
They are likely to field a 4-1-4-1 configuration, with wide players such as Talisca and young Yang Liyu given the license to play direct.
Jiangsu Suning are perhaps the most unfortunate team in the league in terms of injuries, as they will be without Xie Pengfie, Yang Xiotian and Gao Tianyi. Courtesy of their depth and versatility, they could tinker with their shape and play an extra man as a number 8.
Injuries: Xie Pengfie, Yang Xiotian, Gao Tianyi
Guangzhou Evergrande v Jiangsu Suning: Probable XI
Guangzhou Evergrande predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Liu Dianzuo; Zhang Linpeng, Mei Fang, Ji-Su Park, Gao Zhunyi; Zou Zheng; Talisca, Xu Xin, Paulinho, Yang Liyu; Wei Shihao
Jiangsu Suning predicted XI (4-4-2): Gu Chao; Abdugheni, Miranda, Li Ang, Zhang Cheng; Ji Xiang, Wu Xi, Mubarak Wakaso, Luo Jing; Ivan Santini, Alex Teixeira
Guangzhou Evergrande v Jiangsu Suning: Prediction
It'll be Jiangsu bossing possession and trying to break the opposition down for a fair bit in the game, but how they contain Evergrande's quality holds key. It should be a tightly contested affair, although one could expect the title holders to pip Jiangsu Suning.
Predicted score: Guangzhou Evergrande 1-0 Jiangsu Suning
Published 19 Aug 2020, 18:20 IST