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CSL Preview: Guizhou Renhe eye Champions League place

Guizhou Renhe face a big opportunity to push into the AFC Champions League spots in the Chinese Super League on Wednesday.

Lei Gong’s Guizhou side were third in the Super League a month ago before two straight defeats saw them drop to fourth, out of China’s three automatic ACL berths, to be replaced by Beijing Guoan.

But with Guoan set to travel to second-placed Shandong Luneng on Wednesday, Guizhou could leapfrog Beijing if they overcome 13th-placed Hangzhou.

Guizhou bounced back from their two losses in a row a fortnight ago with a 4-2 win over Liaoning Whowin before they also trumped Dalian Aerbin 2-1 in the Chinese FA Cup last week.

If Renhe overcome Hangzhou, who they have not lost to in five matches, they will move to 47 points, which will be enough to overhaul Guoan (45 points) if the Beijing-based side fail to beat Shandong.

Lei will be keen to see Spanish striker Rafa Jorda (10 goals this season) or Bosnian playmaker Zvjezdan Misimovic (five) on the scoresheet against Hangzhou as neither has scored in their past three league matches.

Jorda is Guizhou’s leading goalscorer this season, while Misimovic is tied for second with Zhang Chenglin and Qu Bo.

Super League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande have already wrapped up the title with two rounds left in the 2013 season as they sit on 73 points, 17 ahead of Shandong.

Evergrande will travel to Shanghai SIPG on Wednesday, while their local rivals Guangzhou R&F will take on Tianjin Teda.

Qingdao Jonoon and Changchun Yatai will both be focused on survival when they host Jiangsu Sainty and travel to Shanghai Shenhua respectively.

Changchun sit 14th, just above the relegation zone, with 29 points, while Qingdao have 28 in 15th position.

Bottom club Wuhan Zall are already relegated with just 16 points from 28 matches and they will host Shanghai Shenxin on Wednesday, while in the other fixture of round 29 Dalian will face Liaoning.

Mon 28 Oct, 2013
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