Guangzhou R&F were second to Dalian Aerbin as both sides were promoted to the CSL in 2011 and have finished behind the dongbei club in both seasons thereafter. Will R&F extract a measure of revenge on Saturday or can Dalian continue their superior record?
Jiang Ning and Wang Xiaolong have reported no adverse effects after they both started together for the first time for R&F away to Changchun last week. Top-scorer Abderazzak Hamdallah missed that match but should be back on Saturday.
Last Time Out
Whilst not quite the greatest comeback since Lazarus, for a team with a terrible away record to recover from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Changchun was a great effort. Although given that R&F dominated the whole game, YNP isn’t sure whether to be happy with the comeback or angry that it was needed.
Dalian held high flying Shanghai East Asia to a 1-1 draw in a much improved performance from their showing against Shenhua a week earlier. Wang Shenchao’s header cancelled out Bruno Meneghel’s penalty although both sides later created chances to win the game.
Stats of the week
- Saturday was the first time ever R&F have come from two goals behind to win in the CSL
- It was also the third time the blue and whites have come from behind to win this season; previously trailing by one goal to both Shenxin and Hangzhou
- Anzur Ismailov’s unfortunate poke past his own keeper was the first own goal that R&F have profited from at least in the 2013 and 2014 seasons and, to the best of YNP’s knowledge, in their entire two and a bit seasons in the CSL
Gratuitous cheerleader photo of the week
Turns out R&F are not the only CSL side to have cheerleaders
Causes for Optimism…
Last week’s comeback dispelled the lethargy of the previous round’s second half performance against Henan and shows a pleasing resilience in the squad. Hamdallah is already a key figure in the team but even in his absence the blue and whites were able to create chances.
Dalian have blown hot and cold this season and with R&F in such good form, if Dalian turn up with the wrong mindset like they did against Shenhua they could quickly find themselves in trouble at Yuexiushan.
… and for Concern
The first half performance against Changchun lacked imagination at one end and leaked two goals at the other, with one unsurprisingly coming from a corner. The blue and whites still need to shore up their set piece defence.
R&F have struggled against Dalian in previous fixtures and whilst the north-easterners have lost Keita and Rochemback, they’ve added the predatory Meneghel up front as well as retaining Yu Dabao and Yu Hanchao so Zhang Yaokun and Jang Hyun-Soo in the Cantonese defence are sure to have a busy evening ahead of them.
Watch Out For
Normally reliable goalkeeper Cheng Yuelei will be disappointed with the two goals conceded last week, one from a flap at a corner and the other from his misjudgement of a one-on-one, and needs to be back to his best on Saturday to deal with Dalian’s attacking trio.
Games between these two are usually high scoring affairs and if Hamdallah returns the Cantonese should be able to beat Dalian 3-1.
R&F as predicted by the Yuexiushan News and Review:
P 7 W 3 D 2 L 2 GF 8 GA 7 GD +1 Pts 11
R&F according to the CSL table:
P 7 W 4 D 2 L 1 GF 17 GA 8 GD +9 Pts 14
Guangzhou R&F v Dalian Aerbin kicks off at 7.30pm on Saturday at Yuexiushan