CSL Preview: Sainty looking to spring a surprise
By Football News
Guangzhou Evergrande will look to build on their lead at the top of the Chinese Super League on Sunday when they face Jiangsu Sainty.
Evergrande will go into their away fixture 13 points clear at the summit, and they are yet to lose a game this season, extending their unbeaten streak with a 3-0 win against Shanghai Shenxin last weekend.
Brazilian forward Muriqui scored a hat-trick in that game, taking his tally to six goals in 15 league appearances so far this campaign, and he will be hoping to add to that statistic.
Second-placed Shandong Luneng will aim to build some momentum in their bid to reel in the league leaders when they come up against Changchun Yatai.
Yatai are perilously placed just three points off the bottom of the table, but Shandong should not expect an easy encounter with their opponents having gone unbeaten in their last three league games.
Guizhou Renhe will also be looking to close the gap on the leaders when they challenge Shanghai SIPG, having drawn four of their previous five matches to leave them stranded three points off second place.
They have struggled for goals recently and will be looking to strikers Rafa Jorda and Zlatan Muslimovic to find their form.
The weekend also sees a number of critical clashes for sides at the bottom of the table, as struggling Tianjin Teda take on Liaoning Whowin and Wuhan Zall face Bejing Guoan.
Wuhan, who languish in bottom spot, will be buoyed by their first victory in six games following their 2-1 win over Jiangsu with two goals from Chukwuma Akabueze.
In mid-table, Sven-Goran Eriksson's Guangzhou R&F will try to overcome Hangzhou and Dalian Aerbin will take on Qingdao Jonoon, with both games on Saturday.
Saturday also provides an all-Shanghai encounter when Shanghai Shenhua come up against Shanghai Shenxin, with both sides currently delicately poised on 16 points.
Shenxin will be looking to overturn a poor run of form that has seen them lose four of their last five, including falling 3-0 to the league leaders last weekend.