Shanghai Shenhua host Shenzhen FC in a high-stake Chinese Super League match, knowing a win will steer them further away from the dreaded relegation zone.
While for Shenzhen, the whole season's hard work, struggle, and targets, all depend on the outcome of this game. The visitors know that even a draw will be catastrophic, for bridging a five-point gap in the last five games could be too much for them.
But a win could be significant as it would bring them within two points of Shenhua. It's a six-pointer, with the visitors being hard-pressed more for a win for their precarious situation on the table than their hosts.
The Chinese Super League match will be played between Shanghai Shenhua and Shenzhen FC at Yuexiushan Stadium, in Guangzhou, China. The ground has a capacity of 18,000.
The game will start at 05:05 PM (IST), on Thursday, September 26.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Shanghai Shenhua – W D D W L D
Shenzhen FC – L L D W D L
No player from Shanghai Shenhua is expected to miss the game due to an injury issue. All the players are available for selection.
Stephan El-Shaarawy's big-money move to Shanghai Shenhua means the 27-year-old former AC Milan and AS Roma star is a sure-shot starter. As a result, the manager has to compensate with an extra home-grown player in the playing 11.
Eddy Francis is hardly being used by manager Choi Kang-hee these days and the center-back is expected to be overlooked for this game as well.
Another player who has found his game-time shortened in recent weeks is Odion Ighalo. Inconsistency in form is the reason and we expect the former Watford forward to feature from the bench.
Kim Shin-Wook should lead the line for the hosts, with Giovanni Moreno starting in a no-10 role.
Shanghai Shenhua Probable XI:
Li Shuai (GK), Bai Jiajun, Li Peng, Zhu Chenjie, Li Yunqiu, Cao Yunding, Sun Shilin, Wang Yongpo, El Shaarawy, Giovanni Moreno, Kim Shin-Wook
A clean bill of health for the visitors, with no player expected to miss the game with either injury or suspension.
Shenzhen FC Probable XI:
Guo Wei (GK), Yeljan Shinar, Qiao Wei, Liu Yiming, Ge Zhen, Gan Chao, Jin Qiang, Ole Selnaes, Li Yuanyi, John Mary, Dyego Sousa
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Stephen El-Shaarawy: More often, the veterans head to the Far East to earn big money before hanging up their boots, that's why Stephen El Sharaawy's move to China came as a real shock.
But what's beyond doubt is the 27-year-old's temperament and the skills-set. He can change the game in a whiff.
Giovanni Moreno: The 33-year-old Columbia pose a big threat for any team. He will be looking to add more goals to an already team-high goals tally.
Kim Shoon-Wook: He has been beyond incredible. Since making a move to the Chinese Super League, the 31-year-old South Korean has scored an unbelievable 8 times in just 7 starts.
Ole Selnaes: Another high-profile player who decided to head to China in his prime is Ole Selnaes. The former Saint-Etienne midfielder is a player of the highest quality, who can influence the game while lying deep in the midfield.
Captain: G Moreno
Vice-Captain: El Shaarawy
SHZ vs SHN Dream11 potential winner:
Shenzhen FC should at least get a draw here.