Sanfrecce Hiroshima v Shandong Luneng – AFC Champions League
February 23 2016, Hiroshima Big Arch, 10:00 GMT +0
The F group will start with a match between Japanese team Sanfrecce Hiroshima and team from China, Shandong Luneng. The host are definitely the favourites to win this match, but with the Chinese football growing every year, I wouldn’t cancel their chances to win at Hiroshima’s Big Arch.
Hiroshima’s squad didn’t changed a lot, since they won the J. League title and finished third at the Club World Cup last season, although Nigerian forward Utaka has arrived to replace Douglas(22 goals last season), who was named in the J. League Best XI last season but has since left to play for Al Ain FC. Sanfrecce started the season with a win over Gamba in the Super Cup a few days ago. Unfortunately, one of their main players Hisato Sato was injured and his participation is questionable.
Last season Shandong were playing very attacking football, their average was more than 3,5 goals per match. At the end, they managed to finish at third place. To qualify for AFC, the Chinese club had to go though two qualification rounds to reach the group stages, trashing the team from India Mohun Bagan (6-0) at their home stadium and defeating Australian club Adelaide United (2-1) on the road.
If we take a look at all Shandong’s matches from AFC, we can see that 12 of 13 matches had more than 2,5 goals.
These two sides met twice in 2010, with Hiroshima winning in China (2-3) and Shandong winning in Japan (0-1). Anyway, if we took into consideration that both teams are playing attacking football and have great strikers in their ranks, the odds for over 2.5 at SBOBET are worth taking a risk.
Prediction: Over 2.5
Odds: 1.93 SBOBET