Two teams who have had a rough start to the 2022 Chinese Super League season go head-to-head on Monday as Hebei play host to Guangzhou.
The sides currently find themselves in the drop zone ahead of what could turn out to be a season-defining encounter at the Puwan Stadium.
Guangzhou FC suffered a fourth defeat in a row on Friday when they faced off against Shanghai Port at the Jinzhou Stadium in Dalian.
Liu Zhiyu’s men put on a solid defensive display and were seemingly on course to hold on for a point before a late penalty from Oscar settled the game.
As a result, the South China Tigers remain 16th in the league table, four points adrift of safety after just the first nine rounds of matches.
Lying in store next is the challenge of an opposing outfit who are yet to win any of the last nine clashes between the sides since 2018.
Having conceded the joint-most goals away from home so far, Monday’s visitors will need to get their act together at the back in order to avoid another thrashing on the road.
Hebei were beaten on their travels for the fifth game running courtesy of a narrow 1-0 loss at the hands of Shanghai Shenhua on Thursday.
Off the back of a relatively drab opening 45 minutes, Jianrong Zhu’s strike 10 minutes into the second period proved to be enough to sink Kim Jong-boo’s men.
That defeat leaves Hebei 17th in the standings, level on points with their next opponents who however have a slightly superior goal difference.
Following a 2-1 triumph over Wuhan FC in their last home outing, Monday’s hosts now go in search of consecutive home victories for the first time since July 2021.
Hebei Chinese Super League form:
Guangzhou Chinese Super League form:
We say: Hebei 1-1 Guangzhou
Neither team is particularly brimming with confidence ahead of this one, and we anticipate a tight encounter with little goalmouth action resulting in a share of the spoils come the sound of the final whistle.