21 May 2019
Shanghai SIPG come face-to-face with Ulsan for the top of Group H clash, with the hosts looking for three points that would see them advance to the AFC Champions League knockout stage.
Even though they’ve started the competition off on the right foot by securing a 1-0 home win over Kawasaki, the Chinese giants have failed to live up to expectations ever since. After suffering a narrow 1-0 loss in reverse fixture in Ulsan, the Red Eagles have played out three straight draws, with each of them featuring at least two goals on both ends. Shanghai’s slow start to the game has seen them fail to score in the opening 15 minutes in all three of those stalemates although they’ve bagged over 1.5 goals later on in each. While Shanghai’s impressive displays in the final third can comfort Vítor Pereira – his players have scored 2+ match goals in all six of their previous competitive home outings, the fact that they’ve struggled to keep a clean sheet in five is a troubling one.
Meanwhile, unbeaten in all five of their previous fixtures at the competition (W3, D2), the visitors have already booked tickets for the knockout stage. Interestingly, all three of Ulsan’s group-stage triumphs have ended with the same 1-0 scoreline, with all coming at home. While they enjoy playing at home, the Gangs of Asia are not as comfortable when on the road, as they’ve pulled off just three wins in their last ten away games across all competitions (W3, D4, L3). Still, Ulsan’s previous five road clashes have not been short of entertainment, with three of them seeing both teams score while four producing over 2.5 goals. Kim Do-hoon’s main worry ahead of this trip could be that his players have failed to keep a blank slate in all four of their last competitive away games, allowing over 1.5 match goals three times in the process.
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