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Daily Briefs Humpday: China takes on Saudi Arabia tonight

takes a look at all the big Chinese sports news stories so you don’t have to. Your main man is back after another break, though this may be the last Briefs before Spring Festival. Anyone else excited about China’s big tilt tonight?  China always struggles in the Middle East “West Asia” and a result would go a long way in getting them into the Asian Cup. Am I the only one who recalls the opening match of World Cup qualifying on Spring Festival eve five years ago? A draw like that wouldn’t be the end of the world…

The Chinese national team begins yet another embarassing campaign faces off against Saudi Arabia tonight in their opening Asian Cup qualifying match. For those tuning in, the match will actually begin tomorrow, at 1 am. We’re not offering much of a preview (go here to see one), we’re as interested in seeing how Camacho lines up the side and if there is any influence or pressure  from the new CFA head over the roster. We’ll have live tweets on Sina Weibo (@modernleifeng) and on Twitter (@wildeastfootbal) and expect a full match recap.

Shanghai Shenhua is losing yet another player. Defender Qiu Tianyi is set to join Wuhan Zall, yet another decent gain for that side and yet another tough loss for Shenhua. I know a lot of fans won’t necessarily be sad to see Qiu go, but he’s big and he’s young and there’s still some potential there. It also looks like Jiang Kun may be joining Henan Construction. At this rate, one wonders if Shenhua will even have a full roster at the start of the season.

More Shenhua related news, 30 year old Argentinian midfielder Patricio Toranzo is set to sign with the club before Chinese New Year. He has some definite pedigree in the Argentinian league and did feature twice in the national side under Diego Maradona. However, Macedonian international Stevica Ristić won’t be joining him – Shenhua had agreed a deal with the striker’s current club Suwon, but at the last minute the Korean side persuaded Ristic to see out the remaining six months of his contract.

Preseason match photos here: Dalian Aerbin loses 2-5 to Ukranian club Metalist Kharkiv, Beijing Guoan draws 2-2 against Legia Warsaw, Jiangsu Sainty loses 2-3 to Partizan Belgrade in Turkey.

Marcello Lippi has insisted he will remain with Guangzhou Evergrande, rejecting offers from the Russian league.

Changchun Yatai have been quiet for much of the off-season, but Brazilian Ze Carlos has joined the dongbei club and looks to be a very impressive signing.

Hamdi Salihi goes from one developing football market to another, moving from the MLS’ DC United and joining Jiangsu Sainty. The Albanian put up decent numbers in the MLS and should be a decent attack option before Cristian Danalache is at full strength.

Romanian striker Marius Niculae, who was previously rumored to be connected wtih Beijing Guoan, now is a target of Shandong Luneng.

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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