- Giovanni van Bronckhorst has had a disappointing start to life in China, but their two opening defeats are not as bad as the scores suggest (3-0 and 5-0).
- R&F were beaten 3-0 on opening day by Shenzhen, the game was fairly even if we exclude the penalties. R&F entirely shot themselves in the foot in that game conceding two quickfire penalties and scoring an own goal.
- The non-penalty xG from that game reads 1.15-0.8 in Shenzhen's favour.
- In the derby with Evergrande, they got blown away 5-0 by the best team in the league, but again the xG shows us that they scoreline was bit exaggerated. Evergrande's non-penalty xG for this match was just 1.38
- Basically, I don't believe this R&F side is as weak as these opening two results show.
- van Bronckhorst has also put a strong emphasis on defence after R&F's previous season's rankings among the worst in the league for goals against and xGA.
- R&F have no significant injuries or suspensions while Henan will be without two foreigners in Karanga (doubtful) and Bassogog (tested positive for COVID)
- Mousa Dembélé hasn't received much attention since joining from Spurs. Is he having an impact? Yes, yes he is surprisingly no R&F player had a more significant impact on the average amount of team goals scored last season, with Dembele on the pitch, R&F average 1.93 goals per 90 mins.
- Henan were poor against Jiangsu on opening day despite scoring three times, they allowed Jiangsu 2.55xG while only generating 0.46 themselves. Against Dalian, they had good luck on their side as Dalian got a man sent off late and gave away a penalty. Henan's PK was their only attempt inside Dalian's box. Their non-penalty xG for the match was even worse than against Jiangsu (0.3)
- Henan's tactics won't be a surprise, they will once again play with 5 men in defence trying to enforce a low block and try to hit R&F on the counter and from set-pieces.
Final word: This feels like a good spot for R&F, They should have plenty of the ball in Henan territory and with players like Zahavi, Tang Miao, Renatinho they should have enough creativity to break them down.
Guangzhou R&F Draw no Bet at 1.98 with Pinnacle (+0 Asian Handicap) - 2 units