Guangzhou R&F tasted defeat for the first time last week whilst Henan Jianye got their first win. Will Henan be able to make it two in a row or can the blue and whites bounce back?
The R&F under-17 side won the first Guangzhou derby of the year, beating their Evergrande compatriots 3-1 for their seventh win in a row in the national competition.
Park Jong-Woo will be suspended after his red card at Beijing but Wang Xiaolong, who is driven by his wife to training every day, will now be available for selection after missing last week because a clause in his contract prevented him from playing at Gongti against his old side.
Last Time Out
YNP doesn’t want to say ‘I told you’ so will instead invite readers to check last week’s score prediction. Beijing Guoan deservedly won the game although their second goal was offside and linesman Zhang Hongwei was found guilty of a technical error by the CFA and faces punishment.
R&F continue to face the team that played Shanghai East Asia the week before, a trend that will continue until the two sides face off at Yuexiushan in May, but this time the Shanghainese side lost; a late Ryan Johnson goal helping Henan to their first win since being promoted back to the CSL.
Stat of the week
YNP’s post bag was left bulging by the deluge of replies to its query last week and for those who didn’t know, the fastest hat-trick in CSL history was scored in six minutes by Shandong’s Han Peng in 2010.
YNP travelled to Beijing last week and has a few interesting stats from the away end to report:
- 2: the number of Guangzhou R&F fans in the away section at Gongti last week
- 2: the number of club employees who stood with the fans
- 250: the number of R&F employees from their Beijing office who were in the away end last week and got given replica shirts and blue caps to wear
Photo of the week
With Beijing looking comfortable at 1-0 one security guard turns his attention elsewhere.
Causes for Optimism…
Losing away against Beijing Guoan is no cause to press the panic button, especially because R&F’s poor first half was followed by a much improved second after Davi and Lu Lin came on. The blue and whites have shown what they are capable of in previous games and will look to repeat that on Sunday.
… and for Concern
Park Jong-Woo was sent off for two yellow cards against Guoan and despite an appeal by the club the red card will not be overturned. This leaves Sven with tough decisions about who to play in the centre of midfield as neither of his three starters in that role against Beijing (Park, Li Yan and Ken Ilso) shone. Davi is likely to be recalled and Ilso pushed forward to partner Hamdallah in attack.
Henan may be newly promoted but their first five games have only seen them loose once so they aren’t the pushovers some expected and by winning last week they’ve already shown they can upset some of the more established CSL sides.
Watch Out For
Young right back Tang Miao was the club’s standout domestic performer in the 2012 CSL and he continued his good form last year, being one of the top tacklers in the league. He also shows plenty of energy in attack and it is that which will be needed on Sunday as the blue and whites will be pushing for a home win.
Home win: Despite being forced into a new look midfield, R&F should have too much quality for Henan and end up 2-0 winners.
R&F as predicted by the Yuexiushan News and Review:
P 5 W 2 D 1 L 2 GF 4 GA 5 GD -1 Pts 7
R&F according to the CSL table:
P 5 W 2 D 2 L 1 GF 10 GA 6 GD +4 Pts 8
Guangzhou R&F v Henan Jianye kicks off at 4pm on Sunday at Yuexiushan