After an almost two month hiatus due to an international break, the Chinese Super League returns on Sunday
Before the break, two CSL games were postponed in order to protect national team players who were being called up to China's World Cup Qualifying games. The qualifiers have since finished, with China winning their matches to progress to the next stage of qualifiers which are set to take place in September, October and November respectively. Six matches in total, two each month. But with the qualifiers out of the way....at least for the time being, the focus in China can return back to the league.
The two postponed Round 5 games of Henan Songshan Longmen v Guangzhou and Beijing Guoan v Hebei were played out on the 15th and 16th July respectivley, with it ending in a 1-1 draw between Henan v Guangzhou in what was maybe a shock result. Whereas Beijing Guoan won 2-1 over Hebei today.
With all teams now playing an equal amount of games, the league is set to restart Sunday (18th July). The league will keep to its current format (which it adopted due to covid), where it is split into two bubble groups. Nine matchdays will be played between 18th July and 12th August.
Then World Cup Qualifiers will continue meaning another hiatus of the league until 1st December, where the Chinese Super League will return once more and play eight matchdays until the end of the year.
The last remaining games of the CSL 2021 season, will then be played in January 2022. This is the first time in the leagues history that the season will play into a new year. A large reason for this, is once again due to World Cup Qualifiers, so that national players in the league have more rest to prepare for the last stage of Qualifiers.
Some Chinese Super League fans are naturally frustrated with the way the Chinese Football Association is going about things. With a clear focus and priority on the National team, it has ignored its domestic league, throwing in curveballs to a season which was already greatly impeded by Covid. With foreign players unable to get into the country, players and teams having to be in a bubble, big name players leaving to join other clubs and now World Cup Qualifiers causing two big breaks in the league. It's near impossible for any teams to gain some form or momentum. But not only that, due to the final stages of the World Cup Qualifiers taking place in March 2022, the Chinese Super League will therefore have a delayed start to the season once again. This is due to the fact that the Chinese Super League usually operates February/March until November/December.
Matchday 6 Fixtures
Sunday 18th July
Guangzhou v Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic at 11am (UK Time)
Henan Songshan Longmen v Qingdao at 11am (UK Time)
Shenzhen v Cangzhou Mighty Lions at 1pm (UK Time)
Shandong Taishan v Guangzhou City at 1pm (UK Time)
Monday 19th July
Beijing Guoan v Tianjin Jinmen Tiger at 09:30am (UK Time)
Wuhan v Shanghai Port at 09:30am (UK Time)
Shanghai Shenhua v Dalian Pro at 11:30am (UK Time)
Hebei v Changchun Yatai at 13:30pm (UK Time)