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Preview From the North: Time to get back to work

It seems like forever since we were last discussing a Chinese Super League match so its great to once again be talking about a match. This weekend, yes no more Friday night matches for awhile, its Qingdao Jonoon making the short trip north.

It begins again

Manager Jaime Pacheco is back from a short trip to Portugal, the national teamers and U22’s are back as well, and Shao Jiayi’s stopped making horrible Euro 2012 predictions, it’s back to business. Beijing has always struggled against Qingdao on the road, but has never lost to the club when they come to Worker’s Stadium, with a record of 14-2-0 against the seasiders going back to the Jia A era. The team will go into this one as confident as ever, on a roll in the league, especially at Gongti, and facing a weakened Qingdao squad. that’s at the very bottom of the table.

With this match leading into the transfer window, it could be the last time we see a few Guoan players, in particular Manu, in the Guoan green. The starting lineup should remain much the same as we’ve seen so far this year, the only question being will it be AK or Reinaldo starting up top.  We can hope for special performances from Wang Xiaolong and Yu Yang, just back from the national team and wanting to keep themselves on Camacho’s radar. Of course, few Guoan players have been as in form this season as Piao Cheng, who should be in his element against the relatively small Qingdao side.

Opposite ends

Qingdao’s had a rough go of it, struggling at the very bottom of the table. The team has lost eight of 12 matches this season and only earning two points on the road this year. They’ve already gone through a managerial shake-up, with manager Chang Woe-Ryong, who left them for Aerbin in the offseason, returning a few weeks ago after having already been “let go” by Aerbin.

All of Qingdao’s goals so far this season have come from their Chinese players, namely star midfielder (and national teamer) Liu Jian. Zheng Long and Zhu Jianrong have provided one each, for a grand total of six goals in 12 matches, not exactly lighting things up. Zheng had a very good game against Guoan last season and in particular is one to watch.

Prediction

If Guoan is serious about mounting a title challenge, this is one where they’ll need all three points. Things get a lot harder going forward, facing the other top five teams and two derby matches in their next six games. As long as manager Pacheco has his troops up for this match and they don’t play down to the opponent, this should be an easy victory, I’m predicting a 3-0 win.

Category W-D-L Category W-D-L
Overall 7-6-5 on Tuesday 0-1-2
Chinese Super League 7-3-2 on Wednesday 0-2-1
ACL 0-3-3 on Friday 6-0-0
Home 6-2-1 on Sunday 1-3-2
Road 1-4-4 Scoring 1 goal 3-3-1
Scoring first 5-2-0 Scoring 2 goals 2-1-1
Giving up first goal 2-1-5 Scoring 3+ goals 2-0-0
Leading at half 4-0-0 After a win 1-2-3
Losing at half 1-1-4 After a loss 2-2-1
Tied at half 0-4-1 After a draw 4-1-1
Yang Zhi in goal 0-0-0 Pacheco in a suit 6-2-1
Hou Sen in goal 7-5-4 Pacheco in practice wear 1-4-4
Piao Cheng turns into Super Piao 3-2-1 Francois makes laughable defensive error 0-0-2
Xu Liang scores a free kick 1-0-0 Zhang Xizhe plays like Zhang Xizhe 3-1-2
Mao Jianqing vs Shanghai (or pretends vs SH) 1-2-0 Zhang Xizhe forgets he’s Zhang Xizhe 2-2-1

 

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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