CSL Preview: Lippi’s free-scorers eye another step

2 October 2014 16:27

Rampant Guangzhou Evergrande seek to move onto the cusp of a fourth straight Chinese Super League title at home to Hangzhou.

Marcello Lippi’s side head second-placed Beijing Guoan by six points with four rounds remaining, and only a monumental upset would stymie their charge.

The champions, pursuing an eighth successive league victory, are on course to break their own record for goals in a Super League season, while Hangzhou have conceded more than any other team in the division.

Elkeson, who has scored seven times in his last four games, is out to set a personal milestone. The Brazilian needs only one more goal to become the outright top marksman in a Chinese top-flight campaign.

Evergrande, for whom Rene Junior and Alberto Gilardino are also in form, have won all seven of their encounters with Hangzhou over the past four seasons.

Guoan , chasing a fifth-consecutive CSL win, are at home to a Shanghai Shenxin side who have lost their last three outings.

A hat-trick from Montenegrin forward Dejan Damjanovic moved Beijng onto four wins on the bounce last weekend.

The fight for third place and the final AFC Champions League qualifying spot appears to be between Guangzhou R and F and Shandong Luneng, who are three points behind their rivals but have momentum in their favour.

Sven-Goran Eriksson’s R and F are at home to sixth-placed Guizhou Renhe, while Shandong will entrust Aloisio, who has netted four goals in his last three appearances, with sinking fifth-placed Shanghai SIPG.

Harbin Yiteng, five points adrift of safety, realistically have to win at Shanghai Shenhua to give themselves a shot at survival.

Second-bottom Henan Jianye will try for their first victory in six attempts against Liaoning Whowin, who are three points above their upcoming guests.

Dalian Aerbin, four points clear of the bottom two, will look to take a big stride towards securing their Super League status at home to a Jiangsu Sainty team who have little to play for.

Changchun Yatai and Tianjin Teda, both in mid-table, will kick off the action in Saturday’s early game.