Chongqing FC (10th) vs. Wuhan Zull (2nd)
East Asia have already booked their ticket to the Chinese Super League, now its down to Wuhan Zull to see if they can get themselves to the party as well. A draw will be enough to seal the deal but Chongqing FC stand in the way of that and the hosts are in the ironic position of needing to beat the visitors so that Chongqing Lifan have even the slightest chance of getting promoted themselves.
This should be a walk in the park for Wuhan, whose defense should be more than capable of holding out for at least a scoreless draw. Mei Fang has been a rock at the heart of the Zull back line this season and the team’s captain will be making sure his team do what is needed to collect the single point needed to get to the big time.
However, Chongqing FC, loathed as they will be to help out their cross-town neighbours, will want to make a point against one of the league’s tightest defenses. Chris Killen and Walter Martinez have been excellent for their team this season and could certainly get themselves a contract in the CSL next season, and some more strong performances towards the end of the season will be helpful in persuading teams to get out the cheque book.
Wuhan will feel very confident of getting out of Chongqing with at least a draw but their hosts won’t make it easy and their home record is reasonably strong. That said, a draw feels like the most likely result.
Shenyang Shenbei (13th) – Shenzhen Ruby (9th)
Shanghai East Asia probably owe Shenyang a thank-you card for helping them get promoted with three games left to play but now its back to business for Shenbei who still have their own status in CL1 to preserve. A win against visiting Shenzhen Ruby would help do the trick but the visitors also have things to fight for despite being stick in midtable obscurity.
Indeed, whilst Ruby won’t get promoted this season, for personal reasons Babacar Gueye will going all out for the remaining three games as he looks to cement his space as the league’s top scorer. The Senegalese striker has scored eighteen goals for Ruby since his arrival at the start of the season and like Chongqing’s star players, Gueye will be hoping to catch someone’s eye in the remaining games of the season. Moreover, Shenzhen would also like to ensure they do not finish in the bottom half of the table at the end of a season in which they were expected to be among the favorites for promotion.
This should be Shenbei’s game to win. Having upset Lifan the previous week, they know that another win will effectively keep them in the league for 2013 and they have the crafty Jose Duarte upfront to ensure they can do this. That along with Shenzhen’s awful away record means that the home team should feel confident about a win on Sunday.
Beijing Institute of Technology (11th) vs. Beijing Baxy (16th)
Looking for a derby with the chance for the hosts to relegate their crosstown rivals? Best be in Beijing this Saturday where bottom side Baxy are fighting for their life and running out of time to pull themselves into the light.
For BIT, Matias Alonso will be the man expected to do the damage for a team that doesn’t really have much in the way of goal scoring options. The much traveled Uruguayan is the team’s top scorer with a paltry five goals but despite the limited fire power, BIT will be hoping to push their neighbors further into the deep end so late in the season.
As for Baxy, they need to find a result and quickly or else China League Two football beckons. Contributions from their midfield dangermen Chen Haowei and Li Zhichao would be greatly appreciated but this may well be wishful thinking. The visitors have been one of the worst teams in the league since it kicked off in the spring and they may well get put out their misery by the end of this weekend.