Original title: AFC Champions League | Taishan’s “Mixed Legion”, can they dominate Manila tomorrow night?
Time: September 19, 20:00
Match: Kaya FC VS Shandong Taishan Team
Location: Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila, Philippines
Live broadcast: Migu Video
“The first game of the AFC Champions League group stage is very important. The Kaya team is a strong team in the Philippines and has strong strength. We have done a lot of analysis on the Kaya team. But now there is also an objective condition, that is, the stadium is We can only adapt to the artificial field in just two days, which is a test for the team. We need to adapt to this condition and avoid injuries. We hope that the players can adjust to their condition, strive for victory, and contribute to the fans. A wonderful game.” Taishan coach Cui Kangxi said at the pre-match press conference against Kaya FC.
Although the opponent is the weakest team in this group, it is still unknown what kind of fighting spirit they will have when playing at home. In addition, due to the recent devilish schedule, the Taishan team’s lineup for this campaign is incomplete. Under the leadership of the four major foreign players, this “mixed team” needs to trust each other and maximize its overall characteristics to strive to win nearly 4 games. First win in the AFC Champions League this season.
Mixed lineup encounters artificial grass
Since they competed in the AFC Champions League with an elite team last season, this season is the first time the Taishan team has competed in this event with a first-team lineup in the past four seasons. Although the team has not set a clear goal for performance, both the team and the fans are looking forward to the Taishan team to perform well in the intercontinental competition.
However, the league has entered its final stage, and the Taishan team is only one step away from the FA Cup final. Against this background, what appeared in Manila was a mixed lineup of foreign aid + rotation players.
There are 18 players in the Taishan team’s lineup for this expedition. Except for the two substitute goalkeepers Han Rongze and Liu Shibo, who find it difficult to average playing time, other players are likely to play. Among them, the “4+1” combination of four foreign players, Cresan, Moises, Judsson, and Pato, as well as the naturalized player Fernando, constitute the team’s central axis. Young players such as , Maiwulang and others mainly compete on the wing and midfielder positions. In the defense, since Zheng Zheng and Shi Ke are not with the team, it is interesting to see who will partner with Judson as a central defender. Currently, the only central defender left in Zhengyin is Zhao Jianfei. In addition, Ji Xiang can also make a guest appearance in this position. The advantage of this lineup is its stronger athletic ability, but its shortcoming is the lack of running-in and actual combat testing.
In addition, because the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila is made of artificial grass and is filled with black rubber particles, it poses a higher challenge to players’ running and ball speed control, and also increases the probability of injuries. Considering the actual difficulties of playing away games, the Taishan team needs to stabilize the rhythm in this campaign, fully test the opponent in the opening stage, and find the right opportunity to complete the fatal blow.
What is the home strength of the mysterious opponent?
Although Cui Kangxi said that he was fully prepared for his opponents, due to the lack of information about the Philippine League, it is difficult for the Taishan team to fully understand the full strength of Kaya FC.
In the Philippine League, Kaya FC is an absolute traditional strong team. They won the league championship in the 2022 season and have made large-scale signings since then. Registration information shows that Kaya FC currently has 6 foreign players, among which Japanese central defender Akito Saito is the core of their defense and one of the team’s high points. On the front line, Kaya FC has four foreign players, each from Japan and Africa. The only foreign player in the midfield is Chadela from Argentina. He has rich experience in the Southeast Asian League.
According to the relevant requirements of the AFC Champions League, each team can arrange 6 foreign players to start in the game, including 1 Asian foreign player. From this perspective, Kaya FC has a certain advantage in foreign aid reserves.
Previously, Kaya FC’s main task was to participate in the Philippine Cup. Due to their obvious strength advantage, they often use more aggressive lineups such as 433 or 343 when facing other teams. Kaya FC’s most recent match was against Manila. Knowing that Taishan team’s frontline officials were watching the game, they made large-scale rotations in the lineup and ultimately defeated their opponent 8:0.
Weather forecasts show that Manila has been experiencing continuous rainfall recently. In this context, both the venue environment and the opponent’s adaptability will create considerable difficulties for the Taishan team. Fortunately, more than a thousand fans will dress in orange to cheer for the Taishan team, hoping that they will witness the victory of Chinese football in a foreign country.
Image source: Shandong Taishan Football Club official Weibo
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