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China National Team

Surprise call-up as China announces roster for crucial Iraq match

China’s on the verge of qualifying for the Asian Cup in Australia next year, but to get there China needs at least a point when they face Iraq on March 5th in the UAE.

The team’s manager, Fu Bo, has picked a side that stays close to what he’s used throughout qualifying.

Caretaker boss Fu is likely serving as China’s manager for the last time as the CFA appears close to signing former Beijing Guoan manager Aleksandar Stanojevic as the next head of the national team.

With Zhang Linpeng and Sun Xiang suspended for the match, youngster Zheng Zheng gets to return to the national team fold. In a bit of a surprise, Shenxin keeper Liu Dianzuo gets his first call-up into the national team for the match, with Shandong’s new signing Wang Dalei being left on the outside looking in.

The full roster is below:

Guangzhou Evergrande: Zeng Cheng, Feng Xiaoting, Zheng Zhi, Rong Hao, Huang Bowen, Gao Lin
Shandong Luneng: Du Wei, Wang Yongbo, Zheng Zheng, Cui Peng, Yang Xu
Jiangsu Sainty: Liu Jianye, Wu Xi, Sun Ke
Beijing Guoan: Yang Zhi, Zhang Xizhe
Guizhou Renhe: Yang Hao, Qu Bo
Dalian Aerbin: Yu Dabao, Yu Hanchao
Shanghai East Asia: Wu Lei
Shanghai Shenxin: Liu Dianzuo

In a nod to convenience for the Evergrande players, the national team will meet up at the Evergrande hotel not far from Guangzhou on February 27th, before heading to the UAE. The players will only report back to their clubs on March 6, two days before the new CSL season kicks off.

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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