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AFC Champions League | Quarter-Finals | 1st Leg
Mar 6, 2024 at 10am UK
Jinan Olympic Sports Center Stadium
Yokohama F Marinos

1 - 2

Chen (90+1')
Xinli (51'), Jadson (57'), Yuanyi (64'), Zhunyi (64'), Kang-Hee (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Lopes (7'), Yan (69')
Watanabe (52')

Preview: Shandong Taishan vs. Yokohama F Marinos - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's AFC Champions League clash between Shandong Taishan and Yokohama F Marinos, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Shandong Taishan and Yokohama F Marinos will square off for the third time in the AFC Champions League this season, with the opening leg of their quarter-final tie taking place at Jinan Olympic Sports Center in China on Wednesday.

The current leaders of the Chinese Super League defeated Kawasaki 4-2 last month, advancing from that Champions League round of 16 tie 6-5 on aggregate, while a 1-0 victory over Bangkok United enabled Tricolor to move into the last eight by a cumulative score of 3-2.

Match preview

Liu Guobao in action for Shandong Taishan at the 2022 AFC Champions League© Reuters

A last-gasp strike in the 97th minute of their second-leg fixture versus Kawasaki enabled the side from Jinan to advance into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign.

They are the first Chinese team to make it this far in the Champions League since Beijing FC in 2020, and they could be the first from China to make it beyond this stage of the competition since Guangzhou Evergrande made the semi-finals in 2019.

The Chinese have never made it beyond the Champions League quarter-finals, losing out at this stage versus FC Seoul in 2015-16 (4-2 on aggregate) and in 2004-05 against Al Ittihad (8-3 on aggregate).

Throughout this tournament, Choi Kang-hee has seen his side flourish in the final 45 minutes of play, with 16 of their 20 goals coming in the second half.

Before their last 16 tie against Kawasaki, they had never faced a Japanese opponent in the knockout stage of this competition, while they have not defeated a side from the J1 League at home in this tournament since the 2016 group stage (1-0 over Sanfrecce Hiroshima).

Taishan Dui have a chance to win consecutive away matches in all competitions for the first time since October 2023 when they defeated Changchun Yatai 3-0 domestically and followed that up with a 2-0 triumph over Incheon on matchday three of this tournament.

Yokohama F Marinos' Anderson Lopes celebrates scoring their first goal on July 23, 2023© Reuters

It took a penalty kick in the dying moment of extra time to power Marinos through to the quarter-finals, the first time they have made it to this stage of a Champions League campaign.

On Friday against Avispa Fukuoka, Yokohama suffered their first defeat under Harry Kewell (1-0), appointed as the new manager in December, while they are undefeated in their two competitive away fixtures since the Australian took charge.

Tricolor are unbeaten in the Champions League this season when scoring the opening goal, winning five of their encounters while doing so.

Despite losing three of their last four quarter-final fixtures at the J League Cup, they have not been eliminated from a quarter-final tie since the 2022 edition of that tournament (5-2 versus Sanfrecce Hiroshima).

Yokohama have been behind in their last two competitive fixtures, while losing four of their previous five encounters in which they had conceded the opening goal, with their only victory coming at Tokyo Verdy in the J1 League late last month (2-1).

After losing both of their group fixtures versus Shandong Taishan in the 2005 Champions League group stage, Marinos won their two group play meetings against them this season by a combined score of 4-0.

Shandong Taishan AFC Champions League form:

Shandong Taishan form (all competitions):

Yokohama F Marinos AFC Champions League form:

Yokohama F Marinos form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester City's Mateo Kovacic in action with Yokohama F Marinos' Ken Matsubara on July 23, 2023© Reuters

It is unlikely Zeca will be available for Shandong on Wednesday, with the Brazilian still recovering from a knee medial ligament tear, while Liu Binbin is also expected to miss this contest due to a toe injury.

From leg one to two of their round of 16 tie, we saw two changes made to their starting 11, with Shi Ke and Xie Wenneng replacing Wu Xinghan and Chen Pu.

Cryzan leads the Champions League with eight strikes so far, notching a brace in the second leg of their tie against Kawasaki, with Gao Zhunyi also scoring, while Jadson netted the goal which sent them into the next round of this competition.

Kenta Inoue will not be available to Yokohama because of a dislocation in his acromioclavicular joint, Hijiri Kato has a sore hamstring and Yuta Koike is dealing with a cruciate ligament tear.

Shinnosuke Hatanaka is not expected to return from his cruciate ligament injury until late next month, while Ryuta Koike is doubtful due to a broken kneecap.

Anderson Lopes converted a late penalty in their second leg versus Bangkok to advance them into this stage of the competition, with William Popp stopping two shots in that encounter to collect a clean sheet.

Shandong Taishan possible starting lineup:
Dalei; Zhunyi, Jadson, Ke, Yang; Xinli, Zheng; Delgado, Yuanyi, Pato; Cryzan

Yokohama F Marinos possible starting lineup:
Popp; Kato, Kamijima, Eduardo, Nagato; Kida, Mizunuma; Miyaichi, Tae-hee, Elber; Lopes

SM words green background

We say: Shandong Taishan 2-1 Yokohama F Marinos

Having a weapon like Cryzan in the attack should give Shandong a slight edge in this opening leg, while the Japanese may take some time to settle into this match, given this is their first experience at the quarter-finals in a tournament of this magnitude.

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

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