China, sitting in last place in its World Cup Qualifying group, will take on the two sides leading the group in the next fortnight and Marcello Lippi has just released his 25 man squad for the matches against Korea and Iran.
The schedule sees China host Korea in Changsha on the 23rd and then travel to Tehran to face off against group leading Iran on the 28th. At this point, China is all but eliminated, needing to basically win all their remaining matches if they have any hope of making it to Russia next year.
Lippi is sticking to a squad very similar to what he used in the China Cup that kicked off 2017, sticking with surprise call ups like Deng Hanwen and Yin Hongbo and once again leaving Zhang Chengdong and Sun Ke at home, the most glaring names to be left off the list. Here is the roster:
Goalkeepers: Zeng Cheng (Evergrande), Wang Dalei (Shandong), Yan Junling (SIPG)
Defense: Feng Xiaoting (Evergrande), Zhang Linpeng (Evergrande), Mei Fang (Evergrande), Jiang Zhipeng (R&F), Ren Hang (Hebei), Zhao Mingjian (Hebei), Deng Hanwen (Beijing Renhe)
Midfield: Zheng Zhi (Evergrande), Huang Bowen (Evergrande), Wu Xi (Jiangsu), Cao Yunding (Shenhua), Cai Huikang (SIPG), Yin Hongbo (Hebei), Zhang Xizhe (Guoan), Hao Junmin (Shandong), Wang Yongpo (Hebei), Fan Xiaodong (Changchun)
Forwards: Gao Lin (Evergrande), Wu Lei (SIPG), Yu Hai (SIPG), Yu Dabao (Guoan), Zhang Yuning (Vitesse)