Shanghai SIPG and Jiangsu Suning are set to rub shoulders for the second leg of the Chinese Super League playoff semifinal on Monday at the Suzhou City stadium.
There is everything to play for in this match-up, as both teams shared the spoils in the first leg. Alex Teixeira broke the deadlock in the 55th minute, before Zhang Cheng unfortunately sent the ball back into his own net.
Shanghai fabricated more passes, efforts and breakaways, but found it difficult to breach Jiangsu's robust back line. They must, however, know that they possess arguably the best front three across the division.
Jiangsu Suning have stuck to their plans and dug out results, a key factor that has seen them go undefeated since August 20. They'll also be relying on the deadly duo of Teixeira and Eder to grant them a place in the grand final.
Shanghai SIPG vs Jiangsu Suning: Head-to-head
Shanghai SIPG have a clear-cut advantage over Jiangsu Suning in recent history, with 10 wins to their credit in 17 matches.
Jiangsu, on the contrary, have won just four times. The pair grinded out a 1-1 draw the last time they met, making it a total of three draws played between them.
Shanghai SIPG form guide: D-W-D-L-W
Jiangsu Suning form guide: D-W-D-W-W
Shanghai SIPG vs Jiangsu Suning: Team News
Shanghai will be without their star goalkeeper Yan Junling, who is out due to an eye injury. Chen Wei will deputize in goal once again.
Mirahmetjan Muzepper's red card in the first leg has him suspended for this crucial encounter. Odil Akhmedov might slot in alongside Aaron Mooy to form the central pivot.
Injuries: Yan Junling
Suspensions: Mirahmetjan Muzepper
Jiangsu Suning are set to field a fully-fit squad for this match-up, and coach Cosmin Olaroiu appears likely to stick to the combination that has embarked on this spectacular unbeaten run.
Shanghai SIPG vs Jiangsu Suning: Probable XI
Shanghai SIPG predicted XI (4-4-2): Chen Wei; Fu Huan, He Guan, Shi Ke, Wang Shenchao, Aaron Mooy, Cai Huikang, Odil Akhmedov, Oscar, Marko Arnautovic, Hulk
Jiangsu Suning predicted XI (3-5-2): Gu Chao; Yang Boyu, Miranda, Li Ang; Zhang Cheng, Gao Tianyi, Wu Xi, Mubarak Wakaso, Luo Jing; Eder, Alex Teixeira
Shanghai SIPG vs Jiangsu Suning: Match Prediction
While Shanghai possess the experience and firepower on paper to upstage any opposition, Jiangsu's recent form and tactical ability makes for an intriguing fixture.
Both sides will look to break on the counter and allow their counterparts to carry the ball from their defensive third. Erroneous moments in defence could decide the fate of this game, and we believe Jiangsu have the nerve to edge a historic victory.
Predicted score: Shanghai SIPG 0-1 Jiangsu Suning