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Preview: Lebanon vs. China – Prediction, Team News

Preview: Lebanon vs. China – Prediction, Team News

Lebanon will be fighting for survival in the Asian Cup when they face China on Wednesday. In their first game, neither team emerged victorious. The Chinese were forced to settle for a 0-0 tie with Tajikistan, while the Cedars lost 3-0 to Qatar.

Preview (Lebanon vs. China)

Lebanese coach Miodrag Radulovic’s second term has not started as smoothly as he had planned. His team has lost both of its games this year and could make an early departure from the competition. The hosts, Qatar, against Tajikistan, can win or draw, and the Cedars, who have been outscored 4-0 in their two competitive games this year, might be ousted from the competition for a second consecutive campaign. It would be unfortunate if they were to withdraw from the competition so quickly. It would not be out of the ordinary as the Lebanese have only ever won one game.

Lebanon has not scored the first goal in any of their seven Asian Cup games. They have conceded goals in each of those matches and have only managed to score four goals. Although they currently have their backs against the wall, they have recently shown that they can bounce back fast, as seen by their inability to lose three straight games since 2022 (four losses in a row from March to December of that year). They may need to beat the Chinese for the first time in their history to survive. In their six previous encounters with them, they have only managed a 0-0 tie in 2008.

The Chinese had a really bad start to the game as they were largely shut down by a tenacious set of Tajikistani players who dominated the first half’s scoring possibilities. China had just two shots on goal in the first ninety minutes. None of those came in the first half. However, after the break, they started to play better because of some late substitutes. This team had not won all three points in their initial Asian Cup match.

Preview: Lebanon vs. China - Prediction, Team News
Source: ESPN

Team News

After replacing Bashya El Hindi on matchday one, Gabriel Bitar made just his fourth appearance for the Lebanon national team. He drew even with Yahya El Hindi for the second-fewest caps among Lebanese players in this competition, one more than Khalil Khamis. A century of caps is awaiting Mohamad Haidar, while Hilal El-Helwe, who replaced record holder and top scorer Hassan Maatouk on Friday, earned his 51st appearance for his country. After scoring their winning goal four years prior, Maatouk is still chasing his second career goal at this tournament. El-Helwe scored a brace, and George Felix Melki scored the first in a win over North Korea. He was forced to withdraw from the competition due to an injury.

China captain Wu Xi sat out of their opening game due to a hamstring injury, while Tyias Browning, Wang Shangyuan, Tan Long, and Wu Lei were the only players to preserve their position in the starting 11 from their friendly with Hong Kong (2-1 defeat). After taking Dai Wai Tsun’s place on the first day of play, Lin Liangming is only two appearances away from reaching double digits for Dragon’s Team, while Liu Binbin may reach 20 if he plays on Wednesday. With less than ten minutes remaining, Zhu Chenjie headed home a corner, but VAR disallowed his second international goal. Yan Junling made two stops to keep the score blank against Tajikistan.

Lebanon 0-1 China

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