The Chinese Super League returns with a fresh set of fixtures as Hebei play host to Beijing Guoan at the Langfang Stadium on Friday.
The tie has all the makings of a proper contest as the sides are separated by one point just inside the top half of the table.
Hebei were denied a third win on the spin on Tuesday as they played out an uneventful goalless draw with Shanghai Shenhua.
Shanghai Shenhua failed to take advantage of their first-half dominance as Hebei stood firm to deny them their first win in three outings.
Despite the draw, Hebei have been impressive in recent weeks. They are currently on a three-game unbeaten run, picking up seven points from the last nine available.
The resurgence has seen Jong-bu Kim’s side rise to sixth place in the Chinese Super League table, three points behind Shenzhen in the AFC Champions League qualification spot.
Meanwhile, Beijing Guoan made it two wins from two games last time out as they claimed a 2-1 victory over Wuhan FC.
In-form striker Cédric Bakambu scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season to put the Imperial Guards two goals up before Jean Evrard Kouassi pulled one back for Wuhan in the 67th minute.
This followed a 1-0 victory over Dalian Pro last Saturday which brought an end to Beijing Guoan’s three-game winless run.
The win helped Slaven Bilic’s men rise to seventh place on the log, level on 17 points with Guangzhou City FC.
Hebei vs Beijing Guoan Head-To-Head
With six wins from their 11 meetings, Beijing Guoan head into the game as the slightly better side in this fixture. Hebei have picked up four wins, while the spoils have been shared once.
Hebei Form Guide: W-L-W-W-D
Beijing Guoan Form Guide: D-L-D-W-W
Hebei vs Beijing Guoan Team News
Hebei will be without the services of defender Ximing Pan, who sustained a torn ligament injury. There are no suspension concerns in the Hebei camp.
Injured: Ximing Pan
The hosts remain without the services of Jonathan Viera and John Hou Saeter, who have been ruled out through injuries.
Injured: Jonathan Viera, John Hou Saeter
Hebei vs Beijing Guoan Predicted XI
Hebei Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Yaxiong Bao; Haifeng Ding, Samir Memisevic, Chengdong Zhang, Lin Cui; Ole Selnaes, Qiuming Wang; Xuchen Yao, Hui Zhang, Hongbo Yin; Wei Zhang
Beijing Guoan Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Sen Hou; Dabao Yu, Yang Yu, Fan Yang; Lei Li, Tianyi Gao, Zhongguo Chi, Jiang Tao; Xizhe Zhang; Yuning Zhang, Cédric Bakambu
Hebei vs Beijing Guoan Prediction
Hebei and Beijing Guoan have been in resurgent form and head into the game on a three-game unbeaten run. We expect a cagey contest as they will both be looking to maintain their recent run of results and strengthen their position in the standings.
However, Beijing Guoan have been dominant against Hebei and are unbeaten in their last five games. We predict this trend will continue with the visitors coming out victorious.
Prediction: Hebei 1-2 Beijing Guoan