In-form Shanghai look too explosive for Chinese rivals
AFC Champions League round of 16 1pm Wednesday
Jiangsu were the last team to win at Shanghai SIPG almost 12 months ago but a repeat success for the Nanjing outfit looks unlikely when these Chinese rivals clash in the first knockout round of the Asian Champions League.
Shanghai go into this all-Chinese affair in scintillating form having won their last 11 home matches in league and cup action.
Indeed, they are unbeaten at home since that shock loss at Jiangsu’s hands last June.
Second in the Super League and scoring goals for fun, Andre Villas-Boas’s men are hard to oppose. Take Shanghai to win but take goals as well; all three of their home ties in the group stage – against Japanese aces Urawa Red Diamonds, FC Seoul and Western Sydney Wanderers – were won with both teams scoring. That could be the bet once more.
With Hulk leading the line and ex-Chelsea favourite Oscar having settled in seamlessly, they are a bright attacking force. Hulk has got nine for the season in all competitions and Shanghai scored 15 goals in the group phase.
Jiangsu are having a terrible campaign domestically – they are bottom of the 16-team Super League – but are saving their better performances for the ACL given that they topped Group H, winning five of their six outings. Yong-soo Choi’s men, with another former Chelsea favourite, Ramires, their star midfielder, also won all three of their group away games en route to top spot.
Shanghai SIPG to win & both teams to score
1pt 21-10 bet365, Betway, Hills