Preview: Zhejiang vs. Tianjin Jinmen – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Chinese Super League clash between Zhejiang Professional and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Zhejiang Professional will be looking to close the gap between themselves and the top half of the Chinese Super League table when they take on Tianjin Jinmen Tiger at Huzhou Olympic Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The hosts hung on to valuable point against Changchun Yatai in their last match, while the visitors maintained their incredible unbeaten record, drawing 1-1 away to Cangzhou Mighty Lions.

Match preview

Zhejiang are a long way from the type of form that saw them finish in the AFC Champions League qualifier spots last season, as they come into this match in ninth place and four points behind the top half of the table.

Following back-to-back defeats against Cangzhou Mighty Lions and Shanghai Shenhua this month, Jordi Vinyals would have been relatively satisfied with a point against top-half opposition in midweek and will be hoping his side can build on that result with consecutive home games on the horizon.

Leonardo gave Zhejiang the lead on two occasions in the last match, but they found themselves clinging on in the final stages after Yan Zhiyu slotted home the equaliser with eight minutes of regulation time still to play.

In contrast to last season, when they held the third-best home record in the league, Zhejiang have struggled to put a run of any substance together at home this term and currently ranks fourth-bottom with three wins and four losses in seven matches.

However, those three wins came in their last four matches, and they scored three goals in each while keeping two clean sheets which is a better tally than their opponents managed over the same period.

Tianjin Jinmen Tiger have been very good this season; in fact, even if they lost every game from now to the end of the campaign, they would still lose fewer matches than they did in the whole of last season, which indicates just how much they have improved.

The visitors played out a 1-1 draw against Cangzhou Mighty Lions in midweek, and with that result, they maintained their unbeaten run, which is now 16 matches long, including six wins and 10 draws.

That feat becomes all the more impressive when you consider that they were involved in the relegation battle as recently as 2020 and only nearly avoided the drop again in 2021.

Despite being the lowest-scoring team of any in the top half in away matches, Tianjin JMT have taken 14 points from a possible 24 on the road, which is the fourth-best tally in the league, and they are one of only two sides, along with Shanghai Port, that are yet to taste defeat on their travels.

Yu Genwei‘s side are currently in fifth place with 28 points, just two behind Chengdu Rongcheng in third, and with the form they have shown, they will be fairly confident that they can challenge for a top-three spot for the first time since 2017 this season.

Zhejiang Professional Chinese Super League form:

Tianjin Jinmen Tiger Chinese Super League form:

Team News

Zhejiang will be without their leading marksman Leonardo for this match as he is ineligible to play against his former side, which could mean that Nyasha Mushekwi starts in attack.

Chao Gu has been granted special leave, while Jin Cheng is the only injury absentee and has not played a game this season.

Genwei has a full squad at his disposal and has made several changes in midfield for most of the season, and we could see another couple in this match.

Dun Ba and Hao Gao both missed the match against Cangzhou Mighty Lions and could be brought back for this one, which should see Yinong Tian and Yuanjie Su drop to the bench.

Zhejiang Professional possible starting lineup:
Zhao; Wang, Leung, Possignolo, Yue; Li, Jiegei, Yao, Cheng, Kouassi; Gao

Tianjin Jinmen Tiger possible starting lineup:
Xu; Ming, Yang, Andujar, Chang; Xie, Wang, Ba, Gao, Rosa; Zhao

SM words green background

We say: Zhejiang Professional 1-1 Tianjin Jinmen Tiger

The hosts will be determined to snap up their three-match winless streak here, but they will need to do what no other side has managed this season, which is to overcome Tianjin Jinmen Tiger.

While the visitors have not been perfect in every match, maintaining an unbeaten record for 16 consecutive matches is not something that is seen very often and can certainly not be overlooked. This should be a close encounter, but we fancy the visitors will keep their record intact by claiming a point in this one.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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