Tianjin Jinmen Tiger will be hosting Chengdu Rongchen on Thursday, with both sides still winless after three Chinese Super League matches.
The hosts are currently sitting 13th in the table, while Chengdu Rongchen occupy a spot further back due to a poorer goal difference.
Tianjin managed to avoid last season’s relegation playoff by two points, and they early signs this time around suggest that they could be involved in another battle against the drop.
They began their campaign with a 1-1 away draw against Meizhou Hakka, but have failed to build upon that point, going on to suffer consecutive defeats.
Yu Genwei’s side were seen off 2-1 by Shenzhen in their first home game of the season, before heading on their travels to face Beijing Guoan on Monday.
Tianjin looked set to play out a goalless draw, but Marko Dabro’s 86th-minute winner condemned them to a narrow 1-0 defeat.
After finishing their previous campaign with four successive clean sheets, Thursday’s hosts will be determined to discover that defensive resilience as they aim to move up the league table.
Chengdu Rongcheng have struggled to adjust to life in the top flight after earning promotion through the playoffs last season.
After losing 2-0 away to Shenzhen on the opening day of the season, Chengdu endured a disappointing game against Beijing Guoan, losing 3-2 while finishing the contest with eight men after Abduhamit Abdugheni, Gou Junchen and Tim Chow all shown red cards.
Although they can take positives from their first clean sheet of the season on Sunday, Chengdu are one of six teams that are yet to win in the Chinese Super League this season.
With that clean sheet coinciding with the first time they have drawn a blank in the final third this season, the challenge is to find the right balance between defence and attack.
Tianjin Jinmen Tiger vs Chengdu Rongcheng head to head
The two teams have not previously met in any competition, and this will be the first time they meet in a competitive match in the Chinese Super League.
Tianjin Jinmen Tiger latest home form
Tianjin JMT have recently failed to keep a good run of form at home, having won just one of their five most recent matches. They lost 2-1 to Shenzhen in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored four goals and conceded five.
Tianjin JMT 1-1 Chongqing Liangjiang 12/12/21
Tianjin JMT 1-2 Qingdao FC 18/12/21
Tianjin JMT 0-0 Henan SSLM 28/12/21
Tianjin JMT 1-0 Cangzhou Mighty Lions 03/01/22
Tianjin JMT 1-2 Shenzhen 09/06/22
Tianjin Jinmen Tiger latest away form
Tianjin JMT have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having won just won of their five most recent matches. They lost 1-0 to Beijing Guoan in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored four goals and conceded four.
Cangzhou Mighty Lions 2-1 Tianjin JMT 21/12/21
Chongqing Liangjiang 0-1 Tianjin JMT 25/12/21
Qingdao FC 0-1 Tianjin JMT 31/12/21
Meizhou Hakka 1-1 Tianjin JMT 04/06/22
Beijing Guoan 1-0 Tianjin JMT 13/06/22
Chengdu Rongcheng latest home form
Chengdu Rongcheng have recently failed to keep a good run of form at home, having won just two of their five most recent matches. They lost 3-2 to Beijing Guoan in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 10 goals and conceded six.
Rongcheng 5-0 Guizhou 05/12/21
Rongcheng 1-0 Wuhan Three Towns 08/12/21
Rongcheng 1-2 Zhejiang Professional 18/12/21
Rongcheng 1-1 Dalian Pro 08/01/22
Rongcheng 2-3 Beijing Guoan 08/06/22
Chengdu Rongcheng latest away form
Chengdu Rongcheng have recently been on a relatively good run of form on the road, having lost just one of their six most recent matches. They lost 2-0 to Shenzhen on June 4 in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 12 goals and conceded just five.
Meizhou Hakka 1-2 Rongcheng 12/12/21
Guizhou 2-9 Rongcheng 21/12/21
Dalian Pro 0-1 Rongcheng 12/01/22
Shenzhen 2-0 Rongcheng 04/06/22
Cangzhou Mighty Lions 0-0 Rongcheng 12/06/22
Tianjin Jinmen Tiger news
The hosts could miss Zhou Tong after he was withdrawn in the 31st minute of Monday’s contest against Beijing Guoan. That may present Wang Qiuming with a starting opportunity in the centre of midfield.
Dejan Radonjic and Ba Dun could also come into the starting lineup after appearing as second-half against Beijing Guoan.
Chengdu Rongcheng news
Chow is likely to return to the starting lineup for Rongcheng after serving a one-game suspension, which could result in Wu Guichao dropping down to the bench.
Felipe Silva will continue to operate in a front two alongside Kim Min-woo, with the pair looking for their first goals of the season.
Prediction and Odds
Both sides enter the contest with just one point in three matches, and winning is proving to be a difficult task for the two teams.
Having previously not met in any occasion, we think they could cancel each other out on Thursday looking for their first wins of the season.
Odds: 1 2.15 X 1.89 2 2.30
Tianjin JMT 0-0 Rongcheng
Tianjin JMT 1-1 Rongcheng
Tianjin JMT 2-2 Rongcheng
Tianjin JMT 1-0 Rongcheng
Tianjin JMT 2-1 Rongcheng