CSL Preview: Evergrande keen to march on
Guangzhou Evergrande will aim to extend their unbeaten start to the Chinese Super League season when they meet Shanghai Shenxin on Saturday.
Marcello Lippi's men are in complete control at the top of the table, sitting 11 points clear after winning 13 of their first 15 league games.
The big-spending Asian giants are hard to stop and their goal difference of +35 this season highlights their dominance.
Evergrande have scored 42 goals and conceded just seven, with Brazilian forward Elkeson the league's top-scorer with 17.
Lippi's side could build such a healthy buffer at the top that they may be afforded the luxury of resting players when their AFC Champions League campaign resumes in August.
Shanghai Shenxin, their hosts at the weekend, are struggling after losing four of their past five matches and, should they win, it would be one of the upsets of the season.
Guizhou Renhe will be fighting to stay in touch with Evergrande when they travel to take on sixth-placed Qingdao Jonoon on Friday.
Qingdao Jonoon's chances of claiming an AFC Champions League place would be dealt a huge blow if they lose at home.
They need a top-three finish to play in Asia's premier club competition and sit six points behind third-placed Guizhou Renhe ahead of the meeting.
Shandong Luneng, winless in their past four league matches, take on Dalian Aerbin on Saturday, while Beijing Guoan travel to Shanghai SIPG on Sunday.
Beijing are fourth but face a dangerous Shanghai SIPG side, who have won three of their past four league matches to move into ninth.
Tianjin Teda will be eyeing an opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone when they host Shanghai Shenhua.
A six-point deduction handed to the club for match-fixing has hurt their chances of survival, sitting three points behind 14th-placed Changchun Yatai.
In other matches on Saturday, Liaoning Whowin host Guangzhou R&F, Changchun Yatai take on Hangzhou and bottom side Wuhan Zall meet Jiangsu Sainty.