Shandong Taishan will host Shenzhen at the Jinan Sports Center on Thursday, with three points on the line in the Chinese Super League.
The home side come into the game on the back of an emphatic 5-0 away victory over Qingdao FC on Monday. Duan Liuyu scored a brace, while Marouane Fellaini also got in on the action with a first-half strike.
Shenzhen fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Guangzhou City on home turf. Jiang Jihong scored the match-winner for the visitors 10 minutes from time.
The defeat was detrimental to Shenzhen's hopes of finishing top of Group A. The Guangdong outfit currently sit in third place, having picked up 21 points from 11 games.
Shandong Taishan still lead the way at the top and are three points better off than their next opponents.
The result of this game will go a long way in determining who finishes top of the table and both sides will go all out for victory.
Shandong Taishan vs Shenzhen Head-to-Head
Shandong Taishan have 12 wins from their last 21 matches against Shenzhen. Seven previous games ended in a draw, while Shenzhen have just two victories to their name.
Their most recent meeting came in May when Dai Wai-Tsun and Fellaini each scored a brace to ensure parity was restored at fulltime in a 2-2 draw.
Both sides have been in fine form this term, although the hosts have been marginally more consistent with seven wins compared to Shenzhen's six victories.
Shandong Taishan form guide: W-W-L-W-W
Shenzhen form guide: L-W-W-D-W
Shandong Taishan vs Shenzhen Team News
The hosts will be without midfielder Zhang Chi, who is still sidelined with a fractured leg. There are no suspension concerns for Taishan.
Injured: Zhang Chi
Defender Morteza Pouraliganji is still sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. There are no suspensions for Shenzhen to worry about.
Injured: Morteza Pouraliganji
Shandong Taishan vs Shenzhen Predicted XI
Shandong Taishan Predicted XI (4-3-3): Dalei Wang; Yang Liu, Zheng Zheng, Ke Shi, Xiang Ji; Marouane Fellaini, Jun-Ho Son, Xin Xu; Binbin Liu, Pedro Delgado, Liuyu Duan
Shenzhen Predicted XI (4-4-2): Lu Zhang; Yeljan Shinar, Mincheng Yuan, Zhang Yuan, Haolun Mi; Juan Quintero, Mubarak Wakaso, Yuan Zhang, Frank Acheampong; Alan Kardec, Lin Gao
Shandong Taishan vs Shenzhen Prediction
The two sides are almost evenly matched across the board, although Shandong Taishan are slight favorites to win.
Both sides need all three points and are likely to each play on the front foot, thus translating into goalmouth action. However, home advantage could be an extra factor and we are predicting a narrow victory for Shandong Taishan, with goals at both ends.
Prediction: Shandong Taishan 2-1 Shenzhen
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