After ending a five-game winless run with a 2-1 win over Tianjin Quanjian last Monday, Guangzhou R&F will look to build on with another victory when they host Shandong Luneng in the Chinese Super League at Yuexiushan Stadium, on Saturday afternoon (IST).
Relegation is still a possibility for Guangzhou!
Though it’s a far-fetched theory, but it can still happen. Guangzhou can still find themselves embroiled in the relegation battle if they fail to win in their remaining matches, while 15th placed Shenzhen FC string together a winning run till the end of the season.
Anybody would argue that it’s just a wild theory, but mathematically it’s still possible. So Guangzhou will aim to bury every lingering doubt with a win in this match and move ever closer to the shores.
AFC Cup for Shandong?
Shandong Luneng are fourth on the table heading into this match and top-three is out of their grasp considering a huge 15 points separate them from Shanghai East Asia in third place.
But they face a huge battle from at least three or four teams for the fourth place, with Jiangsu Sainty sitting only one-point behind them on the table.
Considering Luneng finished 3rd last season, even a respectable looking fourth place will be seen as a step taken backward by this club.
The Chinese Super League match will be played between Guangzhou R&F and Shandong Luneng at Yuexiushan Stadium, in Guangzhou, China. The ground has a capacity of 18,000.
The game will start at 03:00 PM (IST), on Saturday, October 19.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Guangzhou R&F – L L D D L W
Shandong Luneng – L W L W W D
Guangzhou R&F Team News:
Centre-back Dusko Tosic serves the 2nd of his three-game ban in this match. The 34-year-old Serbian is the only player missing for Guangzhou in this match. Jin Pengxiang and Yi Teng should partner at the back as a result.
Guangzhou head coach Dragan Stojković could ring in a few changes in the midfield.
Though Lu Lin and Huang Zhengyu both started in the 2-1 win over Tianjin last Monday, the duo faces a battle from Wang Peng and Fan Yunlong for the spots in the midfield.
Guangzhou R&F Probable XI:
Cheng Yuelei (GK), Ding Haifeng, Jin Pengxiang, Yi Teng, Tang Miao, Fan Yunlong, Wang Peng, Mousa Dembele, Dia Saba, Ye Chugui, Eran Zahavi
Shandong Luneng FC Team News:
Just like their hosts, Shandong Luneng are without their first-choice center-back. Dai Lin is suspended due to the accumulation of yellow cards.
We expect Liu Junshuai to fill-in for Lin at the back, with Zheng Zheng playing alongside him.
Shandong Luneng Probable XI:
Wang Dalei (GK), Wang Tong, Liu Junshua, Zheng Zheng, Liu Yang, Zhang Chi, Marouane Fellaini, Zhou Haibin, Duan Liuyu, Moises, Graziano Pelle
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Eran Zahavi: It’s incredible to see that Eran Zahavi has scored a phenomenal 26 times in the league this season. That’s more than one goal every game. And incredible as well the fact that Guangzhou have scored 13 more goals as a team.
Dia Saba: Another player in Guangzhou R&F roster who is having a very good season. The 26-year-old Israeli can dictate the game both in the final 3rd and in the midfield, for he loves to get behind the ball and weave his magic.
Graziano Pelle: The former Southampton striker is the main-man in Shandong Luneng’s team. He is the target-man who loves to bring in midfielders into the play.
Marouane Fellaini: The Belgian is pulling the string for his team ever since he made a move to China. He has added goals to his game as well.
GZ vs SHD Dream11 potential winner:
Shandong Luneng should at least get a draw here.