Guangzhou Evergrande and Liaoning Whowin will go head to head in the Chinese Super League on Saturday, pitting first versus third.
Leaders Guangzhou are unbeaten this season, and have won five straight in the league – keeping clean sheets in their past three, and conceding just four goals in eight matches.
They come up against an in-form Liaoning – who have won their past two – although conversely they have failed to keep their opponents from scoring in any one game this season.
Liaoning’s leaky defence has not cost them in their past two matches – with Brazilian attacker Edu scoring three of their five goals to see them earn 2-1 and 3-2 victories.
Edu (nine goals) trails only Guangzhou striker Elkeson (13) in the golden boot race, with the two Brazilians’ respective fortunes set to decide Saturday’s blockbuster.
Guangzhou have not lost to Liaoning in the league since their second clash in the CSL in 2008 – winning all but one of their dates since.
Last season at Guangzhou’s Tianhe Stadium, the hosts snuck a 1-0 victory via a 90th-minute winner to Gao Lin.
And the attacker is well poised to break Liaoning hearts once more, having scored three times in his past two league fixtures.
Shandong Luneng sit second on the table, level on points with Guangzhou, and can maintain the pressure on the leaders when they host mid-table Shanghai SIPG.
Beijing Guoan are one point outside the top-three – important at season’s end as they are the AFC Champions League spots – ahead of their hosting of bottom club Tianjin Teda.
Tianjin are bottom due to their six-point deduction for match-fixing offences, as they have actually won once and drawn four but only have one point to show for their efforts.
Sitting above them are the winless Changchun Yatai and Wuhan Zall.
Changchun have scored just three goals in nine matches and have three points to their name ahead of their trip to Dalian Aerbin.
Wuhan have been far more prolific – scoring 10 in nine matches – but have just two draws leading into their hosting of Hangzhou on Sunday.
Guizhou Renhe are unbeaten in six in the league, ahead of their clash with Guangzhou R&F on Saturday.
Other games include Qingdao Jonoon’s at home to Shanghai Shenxin, and Shanghai Shenhua’s visit to Jiangsu Sainty.