CSL Preview: Shenxin face second derby, Evergrande host Harbin
Shanghai Shenxin started the Chinese Super League season with a derby defeat and face another clash with local rivals on Sunday.
New signing Gao Di scored a goal in each half as Shenxin were consigned to a 2-0 defeat by ambitious city rivals Shanghai Shenhua at Jinshan Soccer Stadium last Sunday.
Cheng Yaodong's side will get an opportunity to make amends for that defeat when they locks horns with Shanghai SIPG at Shanghai Stadium this weekend.
Shenxin have now failed to win their last six derby encounters against Shenhua, so they will be eager to give their fans bragging rights over SIPG.
SIPG were held to a 1-1 draw at Liaoning Whowin in their CSL opener, courtesy of an equaliser from forward Wu Lei on the stroke of half-time after Belgian striker Kevin Oris had scored a debut goal for the home side.
Reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande made a statement of intent in their season-opener last Saturday, brushing aside newly-promoted Henan Jianye 3-0.
Marcello Lippi this week ruled out any possibility that he would one day coach the China national team, stating that he was fully focused on his role at Evergrande having only recently signed a new three-year contract.
The wily Italian has guided Evergrande to back-to-back CSL titles and the champions are strongly fancied to retain their crown again as they prepare to host Harbin Yiteng, another newly-promoted side, on Saturday
Guangzhou head into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Yokohama F Marinos in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday.
Harbin looked set to secure a point in their first top-flight game since securing promotion, but endured late heartbreak as Junior Urso popped up with the only goal of the game for Shandong Luneng 89 minutes in after Li Xudong had been sent off two minutes earlier.
Last season's runners-up Luneng followed that victory up with a 3-1 AFC Champions League win at Cerezo Osaka, but are not in action in the CSL this weekend.
Shenhua will be eager to follow up their derby victory with a home win against Hangzhou, who started their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Dalian Aerbin, on Saturday.
Beijing Guoan are the opponents for Dalian's first home league game of the season, while Guizhou Renhe will get the chance to put a disappointing Champions League defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers behind them when they host Tianjin Teda.
In the other two games to be played on Sunday, Changchun Yatai entertain Henan Jianye and Guangzhou R&F host Liaoning Whowin.