Connect with us

Chinese Super League

Chinese Super League Week 3: Previews and predictions

The Chinese Super League is now starting to hit its stride as we enter week three. Last week saw a number of closely fought heavyweight encounters with Shanghai Port edging Beijing Guoan and Shandong Taishan snatching a late winner against Guangzhou.  

The coming week promises to be just as enthralling with the likes Tianjin Tiger and Hebei looking to press on after good results last week and number of the league’s bigger teams looking to kick start their campaigns after slow starts. Week three definitely leaves the best to last however, finishing with the Shanghai Derby as Shanghai Port take on Shenhua in a top of the table clash.

Henan Songshan Longmen v Shandong Taishan

Sunday, 2nd May

Yuexiushan Stadium, Guangzhou

A late winner from Marouane Fellaini gave Shandong an impressive win against Guangzhou last Tuesday. This win marked them out as potential title contenders and they’ll be looking to carry this momentum forward into a tricky week three clash with Henan.

In the matches they’ve played so far Henan have been well organised and difficult to breakdown. But have offered precious little going forward, managing just two shots on target over their first two matches.

An early goal for Shandong should settle some nerves and help ease them to a comfortable win. If Henan can hold out for the first hour however, they may be able to snatch a point.

One to watch – Guo Tianyu – The young target man could have a real chance to shine against Henan.

Prediction – Shandong simply too good for Henan and roll out as 2-0 winners.

Guangzhou v Shenzhen

Sunday, 2nd May

Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou

Guangzhou season has got off to a disastrous start with back to back losses piling the pressure on manager Fabio Cannavaro. Getting their season back on track in week three won’t be easy as they face a Shenzhen team much improved from the one they comfortably beat twice last season.

Guangzhou’s biggest issue in their opening two matches has been the absence of foreign starts Talisca and Paulinho. The Brazilian duo spearheaded Guangzhou’s attack last season, and without them Guangzhou have really struggled to impose themselves on their opposition. 

Shenzhen have no such issues however, with all of their foreign talent ready and available to play. And we will likely see the likes Quintero and Kardec posing real problems for Guangzhou on Sunday.

One to watch – Juan Fernando Quintero – The in-form Columbian could be a real headache for Cannavaro’s men.

Prediction – Home advantage is not enough to secure all three points as Guangzhou slip to a 2-2 draw.

Qingdao v Guangzhou City

Monday, 3rd May

Huadu Stadium, Guangzhou

Qingdao have got off to a surprisingly strong start to year after a lacklustre off-season. They briefly topped the table after scraping a draw against Shenzhen on Monday but their luck is likely to run out as they face Guangzhou City at the Huadu Stadium.

Guangzhou City have looked excellent in their opening two matches. And have played some exciting free-flowing under new manager Jean-Paul van Gastal. Qingdao by contrast have been somewhat lucky to have got have anything from their opening two match having been totally been outplayed in both encounters.

Guangzhou City should be a lot more ruthless in front of goal than either Cangzhou Mighty Lions or Shenzhen were and should run out comfortable winners in this week three match up.

One to watch – Guilherme – The Brazilian was in sparkling form last week against Chongqing and could run riot against Qingdao.

Prediction – A comfortable 2-0 win for City.

Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic v Cangzhou Mighty Lions

Monday, 3rd May

Guangzhou University Town Sports Center Stadium , Guangzhou

The Cangzhou Mighty Lions spent big on upgrading their squad after relocating from Shijiazhuang this winter, but have yet to reap any real benefits after a couple of frustrating  results in their first two matches.

They are in for a tough encounter in week three as they come up against a Chongqing team that will be desperate for their first points of the season. While Chongqing may have lost both of their opening matches, they still looked very competitive against two of the league’s strongest teams. If they can get South American playmakers Fernandinho and Bolanos fit enough to play a full match they may be able to take all three points.

One to watch – Miller Bolanos – If he is fit for Monday, Bolanos could provide the spark Chongqing need.

Prediction – 1-1 – Could go either way but a draw is the most likely result.

Changchun Yatai v Wuhan

Tuesday, 4th May

Kunshan Sports Centre Stadium, Suzhou

Both Changchun Yatai and Wuhan go into Tuesday’s match with something to prove. Yatai endured a gauling 0-0 draw with Tianjin Tiger last week and will be keen to get back to winning ways. Whilst Wuhan will be desperate to get their first win under Li Xiaopeng.

Li still seems very unsure about his best starting eleven and it’s going to be very difficult to predict how Wuhan will line-up against Changchun. Changchun by contrast have a very settled team and this should give them the edge on Tuesday night.

One to watch – Serginho – Provides some real quality to Yatai’s midfield.

Prediction – A hard fought 2-1 win for Changchun.

Beijing Guoan v Dalian Pro

Tuesday, 4th May

Jiangyin Sports Centre Stadium, Suzhou

Slaven Bilic’s reign as Beijing Guoan manager has got off to the worst possible start with Guoan being soundly beaten by both of the Shanghai teams in his first two games in charge.  Bilic will no doubt already be beginning to feel the pressure to turn the team’s season and around and he will have an ideal opportunity to do so when Guoan face Dalian Pro on Tuesday.

Dalian were predicted to one of the CSL’s weakest teams this season and have lived up this billing with a lacklustre start to their campaign. Both Changchun and Hebei were able to dominate Dalian’s relatively lightweight midfield, and we can probably expect Guoan to do the same on their way to clocking their first three points of the season.

One to watch – Jonathan Viera – One of the players of the week two, he could pull Dalian apart if he can find the same level of performance.

Prediction – Guoan finally get some points on the board with a 3-0 win.

Tianjin Tiger v Hebei

Wednesday, 5th May

Jiangyin Sports Centre Stadium, Suzhou

Tianjin Tigers were widely expected to be the whipping boys of the 2021 CSL season. Last Thursday however they shocked everyone and managed to hold Changchun to 0-0 draw.

With the extremely low quality of players available to Tianjin it’s unlikely that they will be much a force this year. But last weeks result does show that they will at least be more competitive than some had anticipated.

Against Hebei, Tiger will probably persist with their ultra-defensive 5-4-1 formation and try to park the bus for the full ninety minutes. With Brazilians Paulinho and Marcao in their team however, Hebei will pretty confident that they have will have enough talent in the final third to avoid being denied their second win of the season.

One to watch – Marcao – If he has his shooting boots on, Hebei should claim a comfortable win.

Prediction – 2-0 Hebei grind out their second win of the season.

Shanghai Shenhua v Shanghai Port

Wednesday, 5th May

Suzhou Sports Centre Stadium, Suzhou

With Guangzhou and Beijing Guoan both getting off to stuttering starts Shanghai Port have emerged as early frontrunners in the title chase. Their title aspirations are in for a real test this Wednesday as week three reaches its climax with the Shanghai Derby.

Shanghai Shenhua have emerged as one of the CSL’s real surprise packages this off-season and will be eyeing up the possibility of their first league win against Port since 2016.

On paper Port should be overwhelming favourites. However with Shenhua starting the season in such a good run of form and the usual unpredictabilities of derby days to factor in, the result of week three’s final match won’t be easy to call.

One to watch – Oscar- The CSL’s biggest name has also been its best player so far this season. He’ll be tough to stop on Wednesday night.

Prediction – Port’s quality shines through in a 2-1 win.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

More in Chinese Super League