Shanghai Port will welcome Zhejiang Professional to Pudong Football Stadium in the Chinese Super League on Saturday.
Shanghai Port have drifted slightly away from the top five to sit at seven but are still within reach of last season’s second-place finish. After two winless games, the Red Eagles claimed full points in their previous match and hope to make up lost ground with a game in hand.
They won their first and only title in 2018 and have not ruled out that ambition for the current campaign. Although Shanghai Port have proved superior in the past to familiar opponents Zhejiang Professional, it’s no guarantee of success.
Zhejiang Professional are one of the four teams who earned promotion to the top flight. Although they are not high-flying like table toppers Wuhan Three Towns, Meizhou Hakka and Chengdu Rongcheng, the Green Giants are not in a shambles.
They sit in ninth spot and have won some decent games. It’s unclear if they have the ambition to replicate their 2010 fourth-place finish. However, coach Jordi Vinyals said they must avoid humiliation. They will hope to save face once more in Shanghai.
Their clashes, however, with the venue, have always settled around the 2-1 scoreline, so maybe that could change this time.
Shanghai Port vs Zhejiang Professional Head-to-Head
In their last five clashes, Shanghai Port claimed four wins while one game ended in a stalemate.
Shanghai Port form guide (all competitions): W-D-L-W-W
Zhejiang Professional form guide (all competitions): W-W-W-L-D
Shanghai Port vs Zhejiang Professional News
Midfielder Ablahan Haliq has been sidelined with a muscle injury. Former Chelsea attacking midfielder Oscar is unavailable due to transfer issues, while centre-forward Zhurun Liu has been called up to the national team.
Injury: Ablahan Haliq.
Unavailable: Oscar, Zhurun.
Goalkeeper Chao Gu has been ruled out with a fractured finger while centre-backs Lucas Possignolo and Nok-Hang Leung are healing from ankle and muscle injuries respectively. Winger Matheus failed a fitness test.
Injury: Chao Gu, Lucas Possignolo, Nok-Hang Leung, Matheus.
Shanghai Port vs Zhejiang Professional Predicted Xls
Shanghai Port (4-2-3-1): Yan Junling (GK), Li Shenyuan, Zhang Linpeng, Wei Zhen, Wang Shenchao, Xu Xin, CAI Huikang, Lu Wenjun, Paulinho, Zhang Huachen, Cherif Ndiaye
Zhejiang Professional (4-4-2): Bo Zhao (GK), Leung Nok Hang, Dong Yu, Yue Xin, Yang Wang, Zhang Jiaqi, Yao Junsheng, Cheng Jin, Franko Andrijasevic, Donovan Ewolo, Gao Di
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Shanghai Port vs Zhejiang Professional Prediction
A win could propel Shanghai Port to the fourth spot but they could also drop to 10th place if they are stunned at home by the visitors.
Shanghai Port are expected to win thanks to a better organized outfit and home advantage.
Prediction: Shanghai Port 2-0 Zhejiang Professional