Kashima Antlers vs Shanghai Shenhua
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 14 February 2018
Kick-off: 11:00 CET
Kashima Antlers finished second in last season’s J-League, earning a direct ticket to the AFC Champions League group stage. This is their 8th appearance in the competition. Last season they qualified for the last-16, lost 1-0 at Guangzhou Evergrande in China, beat them 2-1 back home, but got eliminated because of the away goal rule. Paulinho scored both Guangzhou’s goals back then. It’s interesting to notice that they won all four games last season in the AFC CL, all three in the group, against Ulsan Hyundai, Brisbane Roar and Muang Thong United, as well as the round of 16 match versus Guangzhou. They haven’t played an official game since December 2. Ten days ago they beat Mito Hollyhock 4-3 in a friendly match, but they remain a bit of a… mystery, due to the lack of official games.
Just like Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai’s Shenhua’s friendly games against lowly European opponents in January were mostly a disaster, even though they did beat Czech side Viktoria Plzeň 5-1, in their only really good performance. Carlos Tévez is no longer with them, they agreed to terminate his contract a year earlier than initially expected, as the Argentine could hardly wait to leave China and return to Boca Juniors. Shanghai Shenhua won the Cup in China last season, and that’s how they earned a direct ticket to the AFC CL group stage. In the championship, they finished just 11th(!). This is their 8th appearance in the AFC CL. Last season they became a bit of a joke by losing to Brisbane Roar 2-0 at home in the playoffs. They had spent big money to strengthen the squad, they had just signed Tévez, they were playing at home, but…
Previous five matches:
Mito Hollyhock vs Kashima Antlers 3-4
Júbilo Iwata vs Kashima Antlers 0-0
Kashima Antlers vs Kashiwa Reysol 0-0
Kashima Antlers vs Urawa Reds 1-0
Consadole Sapporo vs Kashima Antlers 1-2
Viktoria Plzeň vs Shanghai Shenhua 1-5
Puskás vs Shanghai Shenhua 1-0
Luzern vs Shanghai Shenhua 1-1
Partick Thistle vs Shanghai Shenhua 2-1
Shanghai SIPG vs Shanghai Shenhua 3-2
Kashima Antlers’ next game is at Suwon Bluewings, next Wednesday. Same day, Shanghai Shenhua will be hosting Sydney FC (both AFC Champions League matches).
Kashima Antlers vs Shanghai Shenhua: Head to head Stats
Kashima Antlers have hosted Shanghai Shenhua three times in the past. In 2003 they lost 4-3, in 2009 they beat them 2-0, and in 2011 they beat them again 2-0. All three were AFC Champions League group stage matches.
Kashima Antlers vs Shanghai Shenhua: Prediction
It’s a game between two teams that haven’t played an official match in months, which makes predicting… anything all the more riskier. Deep down, I expect Kashima Antlers to win by one goal. Their home form last season in the same competition is what makes me trust them, as much as I can trust a team that haven’t played “official” football in more than two months.
Kashima Antlers vs Shanghai Shenhua: Betting Tips
Kashima Antlers’ win pays 1.70. For more than that, I would risk with “Kashima and under 2.5 goals”, at 3.75 betting odds, following my 1-0 hunch.
More AFC Champions League betting tips and match previews:
- Lokomotiv Tashkent vs Al Wahda
- Tractor Sazi vs Al Ahli Jeddah
- Al-Duhail vs Zob Ahan
- Al Jazira vs Al Gharafa
- Melbourne Victory vs Ulsan Hyundai
- Kawasaki Frontale vs Shanghai SIPG
- Jeonbuk Motors vs Kashiwa Reysol
- Tianjin Quanjian vs Kitchee
- Persepolis vs Nasaf Qarshi
- Al Wasl vs Al Sadd
- Al Rayyan vs Esteghlal
- Al Hilal vs Al Ain
- Sydney FC vs Suwon Bluewings
- Guangzhou Evergrande vs Buriram United
- Jeju United vs Cerezo Osaka