The Chinese Super League season is approaching the half way stage and its little surprise to see Guangzhou Evergrande sitting top of the table. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team started the season as favourites to win the title and have so far lived up to that billing. With 37 points to show from their 14 matches, only Shanghai SIPG have a realistic chance of catching them at the top of the table.
This weekend, Shanghai SIPG travel to Jiangsu Suning with the thought of maximum points in their mind. Andre Villas-Boas’ team start this week 4 points behind the league leaders and with third place team Hebei CFFC back on 28 points, it is up to them to challenge Guangzhou Evergrande for the title.
Jiangsu Suning Form
To say this season has been a disappointment for Fabio Capello and his team is an understatement. Jiangsu Suning have won just 1 of their 14 Chinese Super League games and this leaves them in the relegation zone.
You must go back to the 14th May to find the last time they won a league games and that was a 2-1 home victory against Shandong Luneng. This is their only league victory of the season and conceding goals has been a real problem.
Only one team has a worse defensive record in the Chinese Super League than Jiangsu Suning. They have kept just two clean sheets in 14 league games this season, with just one of those clean sheets coming at home.
Shanghai SIPG Form
In comparison to their opponents, Shanghai SIPG are in excellent form. They have won 6 of their last 7 league games and are undefeated in their last 11.
Looking back even further and Shanghai SIPG are undefeated in 22 of their previous 24 league matches and this is a sign of a team who are very difficult to beat. Shanghai SIPG are the top scorers in the Chinese Super League this season and have scored 37 goals in their 14 games.
In 3 of their last 4 league games, Shanghai SIPG have won by a margin of 3 or more goals, which is the sign of a team in excellent form.
Having picked up a point in their last league game at Beijing Guoan, Capello is unlikely to make many changes to his starting XI. Alex Teixeira is the main man in attack, with his Brazilian team mate Ramires operating in midfield.
Shanghai SIPG will start with the Brazilian duo of Elkeson and Hulk in attack, supported by Chinese international Wu Lei. Cai Huikang and Odil Akhmedov will play in the holding midfield positions.
Top Betting Tips
Given the form of both teams, Shanghai SIPG are the team who look most capable of winning this match and can be backed at 17/20 with Ladbrokes to win the game.
Interestingly, both teams have scored in 11 of Shanghai SIPG’s last 13 games and this suggests we will see goals for both teams in this match. Shanghai SIPG to win and both teams to score is 15/4 at Ladbrokes.
Hulk has scored 7 goals in his last 7 games for Shanghai SIPG and is likely to get on the scoresheet again in this game. The Brazilian forward can be backed to score the first goal of the game at 5/1 with Ladbrokes.