7 August 2014 18:49
Marcello Lippi will demand a swift response from his Guangzhou Evergrande side after they lost to Changchun Yatai last time out.
The Chinese Super League (CSL) leaders suffered defeat for just the third time this campaign in last Sunday’s encounter at the Development Area Stadium.
Evergrande remain top of the pile by four points, yet second-placed Beijing Guoan possess a game in hand.
Lippi did see Italy international Alberto Gilardino bag his first goal for the club against Changchun and will look to the striker to help his side return to winning ways at home to Jiangsu Sainty on Saturday.
Evergrande have failed to win in their last three CSL matches on home soil, but will be confident of overcoming opponents who are winless in four league matches.
Saturday’s other fixtures see Changchun, boosted by their surprise win, host Dalian Aerbin and Shanghai Shenxin welcome Guizhou Renhe.
On Sunday, Guoan will hope to exert further pressure on Evergrande but face a tricky task against third-placed Shanghai SIPG at the Workers’ Stadium.
Gregorio Manzano’s side were 3-0 victors at Shanghai Shenhua last weekend, but SIPG have moved into the AFC Champions League spots after losing just one of their past nine CSL outings.
Bottom side Harbin Yiteng and 15th-placed Liaoning Whowin will bid to earn vital wins from home matches with Tianjin Teda and Shandong Luneng respectively, while fellow strugglers Henan Jianye could find themselves in the bottom two should they drop points at home to Shenhua.
Guangzhou R and F – another team harbouring ambitions of Champions League qualification – visit Hangzhou aiming to bounce back from Sunday’s 1-0 setback at the hands of Shenxin.