Preview - Group H: Shanghai SIPG FC (CHN) v Kawasaki Frontale (JPN)
Shanghai: The defending champions of the Chinese Super League and the J.League will face off in Group H of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday when Shanghai SIPG host Kawasaki Frontale at Shanghai Stadium.
Shanghai finally ended Guangzhou Evergrande’s dominance in China after winning the league in 2018 and return to the competition for the fourth successive year. Their best performance was when they reached the semi-finals in 2017.
The hosts, who remain unbeaten at home in the AFC Champions League, began the defence of their domestic title with a 4-0 win over city rivals Shanghai Shenhua on Friday and also defeated Beijing FC to win the Super Cup a week earlier.
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Kawasaki have now won back-to-back league titles in their homeland and will next look to advance to the latter stages on the Continent. In six previous appearances, their best showings remain reaching the quarter-finals, which they did in 2007, 2009 and 2017.
The J.League club have begun their domestic season with two straight draws, including a 1-1 scoreline against the 2018 AFC Champions League winners Kashima Antlers on Friday.
Shanghai and Kawasaki met in the 2018 group stage, with the Chinese side winning in Japan on the opening day and the teams playing out a 1-1 draw in China as Shanghai progressed and Kawasaki exited.
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