24 July 2014 18:06
Harbin Yiteng head into their Chinese Super League (CSL) clash against Shandong Luneng buoyed by a shock win against Guizhou Renhe.
Marijo Tot’s bottom-of-the-table side secured only their second league victory of the season last weekend, as Guizhou were put to the sword.
Ricardo Steer and Dori scored two goals apiece in a resounding 4-0 victory, which would have given Yiteng belief they are capable of getting out of trouble despite being six points adrift of Liaoning Whowin and Henan Jianye.
Tot’s charges will have home advantage once again on Sunday when they face fourth-placed Luneng, who come into the game on the back of a 1-0 FA Cup victory at Guangzhou R&F.
Luneng are unbeaten in six games in all competitions and held leaders Guangzhou Evergrande to a goalless draw at Tianhe Stadium last weekend, so they will be strong favourites to bring Yiteng back down to earth.
Guangzhou increased their lead at the summit to five points last weekend despite their stalemate against Luneng, as second-placed Beijing Guoan were surprisingly beaten 2-1 at lowly Henan Jinaye.
Marcello Lippi’s side will have to be on their guard to avoid suffering the same fate when they travel to Henan on Sunday, when Tang Yaodong’s resurgent side go in search of a third consecutive victory.
It remains to be seen if recent signing Alberto Gilardino makes his debut for champions Evergrande at Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium, having been left out of the squad last weekend following his move from Genoa.
Guoan responded to last weekend’s defeat by winning 3-0 at Guizhou Renhe in the FA Cup on Wednesday and they go in search of a first league win in three at Changchun Yatai on Saturday.
Guangzhou R&F will attempt to make up more ground on the top two when they attempt to make it three league wins in a row at home to Tianjin Teda on Saturday, having been dumped out of the Cup in midweek.
In the other games to be played on Saturday, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai Shenxin lock horns in a derby at Hongkou Stadium, while Dalian Aerbin host Hangzhou in a clash between mid-table sides and Jiangsu Sainty travel to Guizhou Renhe.
Shanghai SIPG entertain Liaoning in the other game to take place on Sunday.