Shanghai SIPG and Beijing Guoan are set to face-off against each other in the second leg of their third-place playoff at the Suzhou City stadium on Wednesday.
The fixture is right in the balance, as the capital side only managed to gain a slender advantage in the first of the two encounters.
Beijing Guoan pipped Shanghai SIPG 2-1 in the first leg of the playoff, with goals coming from Cedric Bakambu and Chi Zhongguo. A 90th-minute own goal from Guo Quanbo salvaged Shanghai's substandard performance on the day.
The end result opened the door to many more twists and turns in the concluding game.
A host of his senior players will not be available, but Vitor Pereira will know his team has what it takes to bludgeon their opponents. Shanghai SIPG, who are known for their quality in midfield and an impressive forward line, won each of their last seven outings against Beijing prior to the last one.
Beijing Guoan lost to Guangzhou Evergrande in their Chinese Super League semi-final, but have taken a 2-1 lead in this game. They'll continue to rely on their sharpness in the final third, although holding a rigid defensive shape will help wear down Shanghai's attack.
Shanghai SIPG vs Beijing Guoan Head-to-Head
Despite Beijing Guoan's superior statistics in the CSL season, it's safe to say that Shanghai SIPG hold the advantage over their opponents with 10 wins out of the 20 games the two sides have played. Three of those outings have finished as draws, while Beijing have won seven.
What matters most is the 2-1 win picked up by Beijing in the previous match.
Shanghai SIPG form guide: L-L-D-W-D
Beijing Guoan form guide: W-L-D-W-D
Shanghai SIPG vs Beijing Guoan Team News
The Shanghai-based outfit will be without their talisman Oscar due to injury. Yan Junling is another name on the injury list, while Ricardo Lopes will face a late fitness test ahead of the game. It will be interesting to see if Marko Arnautovic starts this game after being left out of the last encounter.
Injured: Oscar, Yan Junling
Doubtful: Ricardo Lopes
Beijing Guoan have no injuries or suspensions, and they will travel with a fully-fit squad. They are likely to retain their 4-3-1-2 configuration, with Bakambu and Yuning spearheading the attack.
Shanghai SIPG vs Beijing Guoan Predicted XI
Shanghai SIPG predicted XI (4-3-3): Chen Wei; Fu Huan, He Guan, Shi Ke, Wang Shenchao; Lu Wenjun, Mirahmetjan Muzepper, Aaron Mooy; Hulk, Marko Arnautovic, Li Shenglong
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
Shanghai SIPG vs Beijing Guoan Prediction
Without the likes of Oscar in their midfield, you could expect Shanghai to lack a killer instinct in key areas. Beijing should get the job done with an early goal before bossing possession to secure a narrow win.
Prediction: Shanghai SIPG 0-1 Beijing Guoan
Published 10 Nov 2020, 02:22 IST